Hockey's Young Superstars: The 25 Hottest Players on Ice


160 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 1-55192-637-7
DDC 796.962'64'0922






Reviewed by Liz Dennett

Liz Dennett is a public service librarian in the Science and Technology
Library at the University of Alberta.


Twenty-five of the NHL’s elite are profiled in this uninspired account
of their young lives. Each article describes the player’s hockey
beginnings, his rise through the ranks, his NHL draft moment, and his
first seasons in the NHL. Quotations from interviews with the players,
their families, and hockey insiders have been added to flesh out the

Many common themes run through the stories: an early love of hockey,
strong family support, most play above their age group in their early
hockey days, nearly all must leave home around the age of 14 to 16 in
order to take their play to the next level, and all excel as juniors
before being drafted. Once in the NHL, most need a few years to adjust,
particularly the European players, who have language and cultural
barriers to deal with, as well as getting used to the faster and more
physical game on the smaller ice surface. Eventually, though, each
player qualified for inclusion in this book by having at least one
standout season.

Unfortunately, the commonalities end up overwhelming the reader, and
the stories run together indistinguishably. These are stories about
talented, hard-working, and dedicated athletes, but the book is
reminiscent of watching an endless post-game hockey interview; the same
clichés are repeated over and over, and rarely is anything interesting
or novel discussed. The description of Ilya Kovalchuk’s showboating
behaviour and brash comments stands out as the only non-cookie-cutter


Rud, Jeff., “Hockey's Young Superstars: The 25 Hottest Players on Ice,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,