Alexander Ovechkin is the reigning NHL rookie of the year. Evgeni Malkin has made an impact in his first two games.
Alexander Radulov may turn out to be better then both of them.
The highly touted Radulov will make his debut, and the surging Nashville Predators look for their fourth win in a row over the Vancouver Canucks as the teams meet Saturday at Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Nashville's first-round pick in 2004, Radulov was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL on Friday after a brief but very impressive stint. In three games, the Russian-born right wing had three goals and four assists en route to player of the week honors.
In a draft that included fellow countrymen Ovechkin and Malkin, taken with the top two picks overall by the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively, Radulov lasted until the 15th selection.
Playing in juniors last season with Quebec, he led all Canadian Hockey League players with 152 points, including 61 goals. Radulov's best game was a record-setting effort March 19, when he scored seven goals and added four assists in a 16-3 win over Rimouski.
Radulov also added 21 goals and 55 points in 23 playoff games to lead Quebec to the Memorial Cup championship over Moncton, then led by current New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan.
Radulov joins a Nashville (4-3-0) team looking for its fifth consecutive victory after a season-opening three-game losing streak. Backup goaltender Chris Mason stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout Thursday to lead the Predators to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.
"I've only been involved in three shootouts, two last year, and I haven't allowed a goal in yet," Mason said. "I haven't had that many. It's a good thing to have, but eventually the time will come where it will end."
Martin Erat, who had a power-play goal and assist in regulation, scored the lone shootout goal in the win. After allowing 17 goals in their first three games, Mason and Tomas Vokoun have combined to concede just seven during the winning streak.
Vokoun, who made a season-high 38 saves in a 3-0 win Wednesday over the New York Rangers, will likely be in net for this contest. He won all three starts last season against Vancouver, including a 31-save shutout March 14 in a 5-0 win at home.
Paul Kariya, a Vancouver native who had two assists against the Devils, has tallied one assist in each of his last three games against his hometown team.
The Canucks (4-3-1) are coming off their most thrilling win of the season. Markus Naslund's power-play goal with 26 seconds to play in regulation tied the score, and he assisted on Sami Salo's goal with less than a second left in overtime for a 3-2 win Friday over the St. Louis Blues.
"I thought there would be time for one move," Salo said. "So that's what I did and just found a hole."
Vancouver is 2-2-0 this season when trailing after two periods compared to 3-22-1 last season.
Henrik Sedin assisted on both third-period goals. He's yet to score a goal this season, but leads the league with 10 assists.