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All-time rookie playoff performances

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Boston’s Tyler Seguin enjoyed a fantastic night Tuesday, scoring twice and adding a pair of assists in the Bruins’ 6-5 win over Tampa Bay. Does Seguin’s breakout night put him among the best rookie playoff performers in NHL history? Find out below in this week’s Top 10.

10. Pat Flatley, Islanders

The 20-year-old Flatley scored nine goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games in 1984 as the Isles made it all the way to the Cup final before losing to Gretzky and the Oilers.

9. Cam Ward, Hurricanes

Just 22 years old at the time, Ward tasted his first playoff action in 2006 when he replaced Canes starter Martin Gerber in Game 2 of the first round against the Canadiens. Ward never surrendered the role the rest of the way, winning 15 games (including two Game 7s) and claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as Carolina won its first Stanley Cup.

8. Jeremy Roenick, Blackhawks

Although he had played in the 1989 playoffs, Roenick technically was still a rookie the following season. So when he led the Hawks to the conference final in 1990 with 11 playoff goals, Roenick put himself second behind Dino Ciccarelli (14) for the all-time rookie playoff goal scoring record.

7. Don Maloney, Rangers

The current GM of the Coyotes made a huge playoff splash in 1979, leading all players with 13 assists and setting a rookie record (at the time) with 20 points in 18 games.

6. Ron Hextall, Flyers

Arguably the last great Flyers goalie, Hextall won 37 games for Philly as a rookie in 1986-87, then followed that up with 15 wins and a 2.77 GAA as the Flyers got to the seventh game of the Cup final before falling to Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers. Hextall won the Conn Smythe for his efforts.

5. Ville Leino, Flyers

Though Leino played seven playoff games with Detroit in 2009, he was also still considered a rookie in his second playoff season. Leino was a relatively old 26 when he suited up for Philadelphia in 2010, but made the most of it, setting a new league record for playoff rookie assists (14) and tying Ciccarelli’s record for rookie playoff points (21) set in 1981.

4. Ken Dryden, Canadiens

Dryden had played just six NHL games before starting for the Habs in the 1971 playoffs. He pushed the Canadiens past the defending Cup-champion Boston Bruins in the first round and posted a 12-8 record and 3.00 GAA en route to claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy and his first Cup.

3. Claude Lemieux, Canadiens

One of the more underrated playoff performers in NHL history, Lemieux first showed his post-season chops as a 20-year-old in 1986, scoring 10 goals (including four game-winners) in 20 games and helping the Habs to another Cup.

2. Dino Ciccarelli, North Stars

A member of the most recent Hockey Hall of Fame class, the right winger was 21 and had only played 32 regular season games when the 1981 playoffs began. He then set a rookie record for post-season goals (14) and points (21) in 19 games for a North Stars team that lost the Cup final in five games to the Islanders.

1. Patrick Roy, Canadiens

The Canadiens legend was just 20 years old in 1986 when he powered the Habs to the Stanley Cup and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP thanks to 15 wins and a 1.93 goals-against average.

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