As the National Hockey League gets set to kick off its new season, a number of changes will take place due to the coronavirus – new divisions, including an all-Canadian one, plus a shortened season and revamped play-off structure. The league’s growing diversity also has some players with Asian heritage standing on the precipice of stardom. The question is, will the shortened season and the new format be a good thing for them or will the changes bring an entirely new crop of talent to the surface? Nick Suzuki The Montreal Canadiens centre , who went 21st overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, is being pegged to potentially fill a long-standing gap. The 21-year-old Japanese-Canadian is hoping to build off a stellar rookie season and become the No 1 centre. The team has always had difficulty finding a premier centre to build their forward core around, and Suzuki’s hockey IQ and skill could finally be the answer. Suzuki, who is a quarter Japanese as his great-great grandparents immigrated from Japan to Canada in the 1990s, will also have to deal with the heavy media scrutiny that comes along with playing in a Canadian market, but has shown poise and confidence. Kailer Yamamoto The Edmonton Oilers had a problem. They have two of the world’s best players, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the only time they seemed to be able to compete with the league’s elite teams is when they paired them together and pushed Draisaitl to the wing. Enter speedy and diminutive Kailer Yamamoto . The winger got his second chance last season in “the show”, as the NHL is known, and did not disappoint. He allowed the Oilers to break up their two superstars onto separate lines, offering a perfect sidekick to German Draisaitl, who also found chemistry with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The American Yamamoto, whose father is half-Japanese and half-Hawaiian, will now be counted on to help take the Oilers back to the play-off promised land in the feisty all-Canadian division. Matt Dumba View this post on Instagram A post shared by Matt Dumba (@matt.dumba) The Filipino-Canadian defenceman is looking for a fresh start. He’s been part of trade rumours on and off for the past few seasons, and could still be moved before the season kicks off next week. Regardless, Dumba, who led the NHL’s Black Lives Matter movement last season after the league restarted, could be a perfect fit for a Stanley Cup contender. He is a solid all-around defenceman who can hit, shut down top players and also etch out time on both the power play and penalty kill. The question is, will it be with the now rebuilding Minnesota Wild, or a play-off-ready team looking to make a deep run into the second season? Jujhar Khaira The towering Edmonton Oilers centre finds himself fighting for a role on a stacked team. The Oilers, with McDavid and Draisaitl, are already flush down the middle. This means the Canadian, who is of South Asian descent (Punbaji), needs to send a message to the coaching staff that he deserves a spot on a team that looks primed for a deep play-off run. The Las Vegas Golden Knights showed that having a big, tough body like Ryan Reaves is key to winning a play-off series. Reaves, who doesn’t get a lot of minutes, still caused absolute chaos for the younger, smaller Vancouver Canucks. Khaira’s time is running out and he will have to showcase his strengths to remain on the Oilers roster or he could find himself sitting in the press box, or get sent down to the minors. Josh Ho-Sang View this post on Instagram A post shared by josh ho-sang (@66jhosang) The flashy right winger, who is part Chinese, came into the league for the 2016-17 season with a lot of fanfare and promise for his silky hands. However, things have not panned out as an NHLer, and he was only able to muster a one-year contract with the New York Islanders in the off-season. Ho-Sang has been plagued by reports and rumours he is tough to play with, and can be difficult to coach. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the NHL, but has been unable to transition his game to the big league with any real consistency. He could benefit from a change of scenery, or playing with a rebuilding team where he might see more ice, but this could be wishful thinking for the 24-year-old. Time is running out for him to prove that he deserves to stay in “the show”.