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Original Issue

The Fabulous Breakout Boys

In a season marked by dazzling rookies (the Lightning's Brad
Richards and the Senators' Martin Havlat, to name two) and
resurgent old-timers (most notably the Penguins' Mario Lemieux
and the Stars' Brett Hull), a handful of others, who are neither
rookies nor thirtysomethings, have raised their games as well.
Here are five players who have taken strides towards stardom,
with their stats through Sunday.

--Kostya Kennedy

RW MARIAN HOSSA, 22, Senators (18 goals, 29 assists). In third
season, he has diversified his dangerous offensive arsenal and
developed a tough defensive game.

RW ALEXEI KOVALEV, 27, Penguins (21 goals, 27 assists). Dazzling
puckhandler has emerged as a consistent finisher. With all eyes
on Lemieux, Kovalev could be even more productive in the second

C PATRICK MARLEAU, 21, Sharks (17 goals, 10 assists). Second
pick of 1997 draft leads San Jose in goals and has become such
an accomplished two-way performer that he has played on
penalty-killing unit.

LW FREDRIK MODIN, 26, Lightning (21 goals, 14 assists). Speedy
former Maple Leaf with a booming shot has become, along with
Richards, half of unexpectedly dynamic duo on Tampa Bay's No. 2

RW STEVE SULLIVAN, 26, Blackhawks (19 goals, 23 assists).
Plucked off waivers last season, 5'9", 160-pound speedster has
been bright light during Chicago's dreary season.