Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 4/21/12

The National Hockey League has looked like a young man's game through the season's first week and a half.

For years, the league has tried to market its younger players and in the last few seasons, it has succeeded in doing so. This season, however, may be one of the best when it comes to showing off its young talent as the the league's first week and a half has shown that it has an abundance of young talent to offer.
Starting with the Edmonton Oilers, the team has the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4 goals and 5 points), Taylor Hall (3 assists and 4 points) and Jordan Eberle (3 assists) succeeding in ways that Oilers' fans had hoped. Nugent-Hopkins does not look like a rookie, while Hall and Eberle are on the verge of stardom. They are the team's No. 1 line and are only 18, 19 and 21 years old, respectively. Almost sounds like the 80's, right?

Speaking of the 80's, the New York Islanders have a trio of youngsters who have come out like gangbusters this season. John Tavares has 8 points (5 goals and 3 assists), including a hat trick against the New York Rangers on Saturday night while his mates, Matt Moulson (2 goals and 2 assists) and PA Parenteau (1 goal and 6 assists) have also gotten off to a great start. Considering that the trio is 21, 27 and 28, Islanders fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to their team's future.

Last season's Calder Trophy winner as the league's top rookie, Jeff Skinner, has also gotten off to a great start this season. In his team's first five games, Skinner has scored 2 goals and added 4 assists for 6 points, picking up right where he left off last season. Some people believed Skinner would suffer from the sophomore slump. He's proving those doubters wrong, so far.

In Buffalo, the Sabres have a player by the name of Luke Adam, 21, who has gotten off to a terrific start in his first year in the NHL and currently leads all rookies in scoring with 6 points (3 goals and 3 assists). In Nashville, the Predators have a rookie in Craig Smith, 22, who has 4 points (2 goals and 2 assists) in his team's first five games. Also, New Jersey defenseman Adam Larsson is averaging over 24 minutes a night, showing the confidence that the Devils coaching staff has in the league's youngest blue-liner.

Early in the season, the NHL is showing that its youngsters are players to be reckoned with and that the future of the game is in good hands.

Photo credit: Getty Images
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