Steven Stamkos approaching elite ...

Steven Stamkos has emerged as a top-tier talent over the past few years. Getty Images

Forty games into his rookie season, Steven Stamkos had only four goals and 10 assists.

That's stunning to consider now: He finished that season with 19 goals in 39 games, netted 51 goals last year, and is second behind Sidney Crosby in goals this season.

This all begs the question: Is he up there with Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, worthy of being entered into the "best" debate?

Not quite, but he's not far off.