The Naruto series showed us that even the young ninjas at the lowest rung on the ladder had the potential to be powerful. The new generation of shinobi in Boruto has increased that potential tenfold in their short time. Every generation of shinobi seems to unlock just a bit more power than the generation before them. As a result, determining who could be the most powerful - and the shinobi on the way to becoming Kage level - can be a bit harder. The Kage in a shinobi land has to be someone who inspires their people with their diplomacy as much as their ability. That means large amounts of chakra, complicated jutsu, and operating at a power level well above the average shinobi. Not everyone in Boruto’s generation has what it takes.. though it seems like a great many could.
Two shinobi not on this list? Mitsuki and Kawaki. Because of genetic engineering and augmentation from technology, these two characters are already at Kage level power - if that Kage was anyone else other than Naruto Uzumaki.
10 Could: Sarada
Sarada has the immense power of her parents on her side. Not only has she inherited the sharingan from the Uchiha bloodline, but she’s also got the strength of her mother Sakura. Those two things alone aren’t enough to achieve Kage level power, but they certainly put her on her way.
Sarada has shown herself to be a capable shinobi - and a fast learner. She picks up new jutsu and skills fairly quickly, meaning her range and power will only increase as she ages. Sarada also has the drive. Like Naruto before her, her life goal is to become Hokage. She just might.
9 Won’t: Chocho
The Akimichi clan is one of support, not political power. Chocho, like her father Choji, is great backup in a fight, but she’ll likely not wield as much power as necessary to become Hokage.
Chocho already has a pretty great ability in her size-changing justsu, and she learned how to access it at a younger age than Choji did. She’s even already figured out how to get her wings, unlike Choji at her age. Though she’s progressing faster than her father, Chocho doesn’t seem particularly interested in learning new abilities, or in helping Konohagakure as a whole. She’s more focused on herself, which won’t get her into a Kage position.
8 Could: Shikadai
Like Sarada, Shikadai has one powerhouse of a bloodline. His mother Temari is part of the Kage bloodline in Suna and his father Shikamaru is one of the most powerful (and the smartest) shinobi in Konoha.
Shikadai has already mastered a lot of the skills his father did at a younger age. He’s got the added benefit of training in Temari’s fan specialty as well. Like both of his parents, he’s also got a head for strategy and is a quick learner, picking up new jutsu as quickly as Sarada. If any member of Boruto’s generation could give Sarada a challenge for taking on the Kage role, It’s Shikadai. It’s entirely possible he could become more powerful than his father with their specialty in shadow jutsus - as long as he applies himself.
7 Won’t: Inojin
Unlike his peers, Inojin seems to have a much harder time learning to use jutsu. He even struggles with understanding the unique skills he inherited.
As a result, Inojin might not gain power in a way sufficient to make him Kage level. Kages typically master as many different jutsu as possible and have huge chakra reserves to boot. Inojin doesn’t appear to be on his way to either.
6 Could: Shinki
Considering every shinobi village has its own Kage, we can’t leave Suna out. As the adopted son of the leader of Suna, Shinki has a bit of an advantage over his peers. Suna works differently than Konoha. While Konoha’s outgoing Kage and village leaders decide on the next one, Suna’s role of Kage is passed down within a family. Being the son of Gaara, Shinki is already the likely next Kage. Unless Temari renounces Konoha and takes her son back to Suna, Shikadai wouldn’t be in line, and Kankuro doesn’t have any children that we know of.
It’s a good thing then that Shinki already seems almost as powerful as the Kage training him, and he doesn’t even have the benefit of a tailed beast’s power inside him. Like Gaara, Shinki can wield the power of sand, but he’s also trained in puppetry with Kankuro and has a good command of most of the jutsu fans have seen him use. He’s well on his way.
5 Won’t: Denki
If Denki ended up with enough power to hold a Kage position, it would be a huge surprise - and he would be the Neville Longbottom of the Boruto series. So far, Denki hasn’t shown that kind of potential, despite his interest in becoming a shinobi against his parents’ wishes.
Denki only has one or two solid jutsu. Beyond that, he’s a relatively average shinobi. His skills actually lie more in the developing technology of the shinobi world, but that’s not the route he wants his life to take. He could possibly end up in an advisory position to the Kage, but even that might be a stretch.
4 Could: Boruto
Boruto has said time and again that he has no interest in being the Hokage. He doesn’t want to sacrifice his connection to his family to keep people safe, even if he understands the importance of the position. That doesn’t mean he won’t be powerful enough to achieve that level.
Boruto is a lot like his father, but without the ambition. If anything, his power level might be more like Jiraiya’s. Though Jiraiya reached Kage level, he had no interest in the role, and he even thought he wasn’t worthy of it. Boruto is already far above his own father’s skill level at the same age, and he doesn’t have the power of the nine-tailed fox to draw from. If Boruto keeps learning and adapting jutsu at the rate he is, he’ll be as powerful as his father before he’s even old enough for Konoha to consider him as a Kage.
3 Won’t: Sumire
Sumire is an interesting character, and a powerful one already. She can access another dimension, something not many shinobi can do. Sumire, however, isn’t exactly interested in pursuing power through jutsu, which means she won’t amass the necessary skill to be Kage level.
Instead, Sumire is interested in science. When she left the Ninja Academy, she took a position in a research lab instead of working on a team in the field. That means her power will be knowledge, not raw skills. Sumire could certainly be an important asset to Konoha in the future, but not someone of Kage caliber.
2 Could: Konohamaru
If anyone has earned the right to be Kage, it’s Konohamaru. He’s been inspired by Naruto since he was a young kid at the Academy, and he’s even trained under Naruto a time or two. Konohamaru isn’t powerful enough to be a Kage yet, but he’s still evolving as a shinobi.
He began learning the rasengan from Naruto before he was really old enough to handle that kind of power and focus. Now, he’s training the new generation of shinobi with a much better handle on his own skills. The series hasn’t particularly focused on him since he’s of the “in between” generation, but if he had the chance to grow as a shinobi and a leader in the series, he’d be well on his way.
1 Won’t: Metal Lee
His father was a fan favorite specifically because he didn’t have the kind of power other shinobi had, but he never gave up. Metal Lee appears to be the same with his skills in hand-to-hand combat.
The Boruto series hasn’t shown us much else in the way of what Metal can do. If he suddenly started to show himself capable of a new complicated jutsu, perhaps then we’d think he had the potential for power. As it stands, Metal Lee is a capable fighter, but not much else, not leaving him in the running for Kage level power.