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NHL's top 10 breakout candidates

Slumps are so last season. See who's set to surge in 2011-12.

Updated: September 30, 2011, 4:31 PM ET
By Rob Vollman | Hockey Prospectus

Over the years, we've learned to identify the types of players that most consistently match or even exceed the breakout potentials predicted by the VUKOTA system. Looking at such factors as previous history, age and puck luck, we've picked 10 players who have the best chance at breakout seasons in terms of our player valuation metric, goals versus threshold (GVT).

David Booth, LW, Florida Panthers
Last season:
-2.8 GVT | VUKOTA Projection: 4.8 GVT

Booth went from 31 goals, 60 points and plus-10 in 72 games in 2008-09 to just 40 points and minus-31 in 2010-11 after his concussion-shortened 2009-10 season, but much of that was due to factors outside of his control. He took a career-high 280 shots but converted on just 8.2 percent -- far worse than his 12.6 percent in 2008-09, and yet better than his teammates, who converted on just 6.9 percent when sharing the ice with him. And Florida's goalies, who stopped just 88.9 percent of shots behind him, are probably as much to blame for his terrible plus-minus score as he is. In 2011-12, expect Booth's numbers to improve along with his fortunes.

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