Undrafted Martin Jones had been toiling in the American League for four seasons before finally making his NHL debut in early December. It was a wacky game that went nine shootout rounds and stands as the No. 1 NHL debut of 2013.
On the list of rookie accomplishments in 2013, Tomas Hertl’s four-goal game for the San Jose Sharks has to rate right at the top.
But how about a top 10 list of NHL debuts in 2013? Hertl’s magical outing was the third game of his NHL career and the four-bagger gave him six goals and seven points in three games. His first game, however, was a relatively uneventful one assist and two shots in a 4-1 Sharks win over Vancouver.
Here are 10 players who had memorable NHL debuts in 2013.
10. Taylor Fedun, Edmonton. The 25-year-old defenseman missed all of 2011-12 after suffering a compound fracture of his leg on an icing play in the pre-season. His stature in the top 10 is therefore based more on circumstance. Fedun did score a goal on a snapshot in his debut, a 4-3 win over Winnipeg Nov. 5. Fedun had 11:24 of ice time.
9. Eric Selleck, Florida. The fourth-year AHL enforcer is dropping his gloves for San Antonio these days, but he received a two-game NHL cup of coffee with the Panthers last season. In a 4-1 win over Carolina March 19, Selleck instigated a fight with Kevin Westgarth and also received a game misconduct for a total of 17 penalty minutes to go along with 7:47 of ice time. He also had four hits during the game.
8. Brian Lashoff, Detroit. The sturdy Albany, N.Y., defenseman has just one goal in 69 games this season and last, but that marker came in Game No. 1. Lashoff made the Wings out of camp last season and his slapshot on his first shift of the second period Jan. 21 in a 4-3 win over Columbus now sits in his trophy case. Lashoff blocked three shots, played 4:33 of shorthanded time and 18:18 overall in his debut.
7. Reto Berra, Calgary. Proclaimed by ex-Flames GM Jay Feaster as the best goalie not in the NHL last season, Berra was recalled from the AHL and made his big-league debut in unfriendly Chicago Nov. 3. The Swiss goalie stopped 42 of 44 shots and beat the defending Stanley Cup champions 3-2 in overtime. Berra helped Calgary kill eight of nine Chicago power play opportunities.
6. Frederik Andersen, Anaheim. The 24-year-old Danish stopper has been a revelation as an injury replacement for the Ducks. He won his first six starts and has nine wins in 11 games. It all began Oct. 20 with a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars. Andersen replaced Jonas Hiller after the first period with the Ducks trailing 3-1. He stopped all 24 shots the rest of the way as Anaheim rallied for the win.
5. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida. Last season’s Calder Trophy winner has been ice cold lately, but flash back to his NHL debut Jan. 19 in a 5-1 win over Carolina. The 19-year-old scored on his first shot, a wrister at 3:37 of the first period, and had two assists. Huberdeau had five shots, two hits and played 14:25.
4. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg. Trouba doesn’t turn 20 until February, but his teens have been very good to him. In his first NHL game, Trouba had a goal and assist and 25:02 of ice time in a 5-4 win over Edmonton Oct. 1. Trouba’s unassisted goal came on a slapshot midway through the third period and tied the score at 4.
3. Mark Cundari, Calgary. The undersized defenseman came to Calgary from St. Louis in the Jay Bouwmeester trade. In a four-game stint at the end of last season, Cundari led it off with a power play goal, assist, two hits, two shots and three blocked shots in a 4-1 win over Minnesota April 21. He also play 24:54.
2. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis. The Russian right winger had a red-hot start to his NHL career last season with 10 points in his first eight games. In his debut Jan. 19, Tarasenko scored a pair of goals in a 6-0 win over Detroit Jan. 19. He scored at 6:36 of the first period on a wicked wrist shot. He took five shots that game in 13:52 of ice time.
1. Martin Jones, Los Angeles. His rise to prominence the past month filling in for Jonathan Quick has been well documented – eight straight wins in 10 games, .955 save percentage and 1.29 goals-against average. Jones allowed two goals in his first game, but he stonewalled all nine Ducks he faced in the shootout guiding the Kings to a dramatic 3-2 win over Anaheim Dec. 3.