Photos of what the stars of the NHL looked like when their careers started

The NHL is a league full of both veteran and up-and-coming stars — here's what some of the most impressive players in hockey looked like at the start of their careers.

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The NHL is a league full of both veteran and up-and-coming stars — here’s what some of the most impressive players in hockey looked like at the start of their careers.
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Andre Ringuette/Getty Images & Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Stanley Cup playoffs offers some of the most exciting action in sports.

With sudden death overtime and every team just one hot goalie away from Stanley Cup immortality, playoff hockey represents edge-of-your-seat action from the moment the puck drops.

At the center of it all are the stars of hockey – players like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, PK Subban and more who brought astounding skill to the sport the moment they took to the ice.

Now veterans of the league and masked with playoff beards, these players look a bit different than when they first joined the league as fresh-faced youngsters. Take a look below to see how players have changed since their NHL debut.


PK Subban in 2007 (age 18).

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Marc Serota/Getty Images

PK Subban today (28).

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Elsa/Getty Images

Steven Stamkos in 2008 (18).

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Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

Steven Stamkos today (28).

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin in 2004 (18).

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin today (32).

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Zdeno Chara in 1996 (19).

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Robert Laberge/Allsport

Zdeno Chara today (41).

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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Marc-Andre Fleury in 2003 (18).

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Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Marc-Andre Fleury today (33).

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Evgeni Malkin in 2005 (18).

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Evgeni Malkin today (31).

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Elsa/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby in 2005 (17).

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Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby today (30).

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Sergei Bobrovsky in 2010 (21).

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Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Sergei Bobrovsky today (29).

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Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Claude Giroux in 2006 (18).

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Dave Sandford/Getty Images for NHL

Claude Giroux today (30).

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Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Joe Thornton in 2002 (22).

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Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images/NHLI

Joe Thornton today (38).

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brent Burns in 2003 (18).

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/NHLI

Brent Burns today (33).

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brad Marchand in 2004 (16).

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Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

Brad Marchand today (29).

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Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Phil Kessel in 2006 (18).

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Phil Kessel today (30).

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Justin Berl/Getty Images

William Karlsson in 2012 (19).

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

William Karlsson today (25).

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Patrick Laine in 2016 (18).

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Patrick Laine today (20).

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Jason Halstead /Getty Images

Now check out how the best players in basketball have changed since joining the league

Photos of what the stars of the NBA playoffs looked like when their careers started