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Hot List graduates

Kyle Okposo played nine games with the Islanders, picking up two goals and five points. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Kyle Okposo played nine games with the Islanders, picking up two goals and five points. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

When The Hot List began this year, the one rule that governed the selections was no player who had played a shift in the NHL was eligible.

The concept was to follow these prospects until they ‘graduated’ to the big leagues. With the playoffs down to four teams and the summer on the horizon, it’s time to take stock of how the forecasting went.

Some regular Hot Listers – such as Steven Stamkos and Steve Mason – are very likely going to graduate to the NHL next season, but for now, we count down the top 10 players who did make the jump from Hot List to living the dream.

Some played just one game, even as an emergency call-up, while others made a mark and stuck with the big team, but all of them can claim they played with the best in the world.

10. Mike Iggulden, San Jose Sharks – Only played one game, but more will come.

9. Brian Boyle, Los Angeles Kings
– Tantalizing prospect with size, plays defense and forward.

8. Shawn Matthias, Florida Panthers
– Will forever be remembered as the player the Wings gave away for Todd Bertuzzi.

7. Derick Brassard, Columbus Blue Jackets – Could he be Nash’s pivot next season?

6. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers – Emergency call-up got to play against hometown Sens.

5. Teddy Purcell, Los Angeles Kings – Smart free agent signing out of Maine.

4. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins – First start was a win against Toronto, the team that traded him.

3. Brian Lee, Ottawa Senators – Sens loved what he did down the stretch.

2. Kyle Turris, Phoenix Coyotes – Gretzky’s a big fan of this kid.

1. Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders – Defection from University of Minnesota worked out very well in the end.

The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on thehockeyenews.com. If you enjoy this feature, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine for the exclusive countdown, Starting From 10, and other great features from the world of hockey.

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