EDITOR'S NOTE: You've arrived at the CBJ Power Rankings, our weekly breakdown of the top-five players, statistics, trends and many other Blue Jackets-related categories. If you're looking for the traditional power rankings, you've come to the wrong place. We'll go in-depth and outside the box, and hopefully give you something to think about.
In the NHL, youth is a bit of a double-edged sword. Younger teams can mesh together and play with extremely high levels of energy and tenacity. On the flip side, veteran teams often look to exploit mistakes caused by inexperience, which can lead to frustrating results.
Young talent doesn't always lead to success, but it can definitely help with the right group of players. In this edition of the Power Rankings presented by YP, we break down the five youngest teams in the league, and whether that youth has been helpful or detrimental.
Coming into this season, some thought 18-year-old Sam Reinhart, this year's second overall draft selection, could be a candidate for the Calder Trophy, and looked primed to be a bright spot for the Sabres. But things didn't start well for NHL.com's fourth-ranked prospect, and the Sabres sent him back to his junior team before the nine-game "tryout" threshold.
Even without Reinhart, the Sabres have a very young team. Zemgus Girgensons is third on the team in scoring so far, an impressive feat for the 20-year-old. Plus, 19-year-old defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is getting meaningful ice time.
Going forward, Sabres fans should be excited to see a blue line pairing of Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, the 11th-best prospect in the game according to NHL.com. While it likely won't happen this year, Zadorov and Reinhart should make a big impact within the next year or two.