With the magical 10-game mark passed by most rookies, the night sweats have ended for those who will stay in The Show instead of returning to junior hockey. That group includes 2010 draftees Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Jeff Skinner, Cam Fowler and Alexander Burmistrov. And while those players have all warranted their status, there are more rookies than those making an impact so far. Here’s a sampling from both groups.
It may have taken a few games, but the No. 1 pick overall in 2010 is showing why he deserved that designation. With his speed and shot, Hall is providing the young Oilers with another offensive weapon and he has two multi-point games in his past three outings, giving him five points overall in 10 games.
One of the first players confirmed to be staying up with the big club, Skinner continues to impress in a Carolina uniform. The junior sniper has actually posted more assists for the Canes so far, putting up five helpers and eight points total, tying him with Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle for the rookie scoring crown.
Equal parts mesmerizing and terrifying, Subban’s cavalier dashes are high-risk, high-reward, but the Habs needed him early this season with several injuries on the back end. Though he hasn’t found the back of the net yet, the fan favorite does have a rookie-best six assists and his plus-5 rating proves he does have defensive chops. The fact he is getting adept at pushing opposing stars’ buttons is another big asset.
While Roberto Luongo seems to be finding his form again, Schneider is keeping the Canucks’ brass honest by playing lights-out whenever he gets an opportunity. The Boston College product has two wins in two starts and a miniscule 0.86 goals-against average. His .968 save percentage is also pretty daunting.
Playing an average of 21:30 per night – third among NHL freshmen – Holos is logging a lot of responsibility for the Avs and with star goaltender Craig Anderson out, the team has needed it. A native of Norway, Holos got his first NHL point (an assist) against Calgary last week.
He only has one point through 10 games, but talk to pro scouts and they’ll tell you how impressive Ekman-Larsson has been, particularly his handling of the puck. Skating and poise are two of his other strong suits.
He’ll forever be linked to his hometown Maple Leafs by the Phil Kessel trade that landed him in Beantown, so there was poetic justice when Seguin, the second overall pick in 2010, scored against Toronto the first time he played them. The young pivot also inspired one of the more clever chants in recent years, when Boston fans began singing “Thank-you Kes-sel,” after the rookie scored.
Not the most offensive team at the best of times, the Blue Jackets are struggling for top-end goals this season. Luckily, players such as Wilson have stepped up. A two-time Calder Cup winner with Hershey of the American League, Wilson has three goals and four points through six games for the Jackets, including a nice backhand finish over Montreal’s Carey Price to end a 2-on-1 Tuesday night.
The two-time Memorial Cup winner with Windsor made his NHL debut against Carolina Nov. 1, registering six shots on net and nearly 14 minutes of ice time. Plus, the Flyers got the win – always nice for a rookie’s first game.
The Devils have been ravaged by injuries and even rookies such as Jacob Josefson and Matt Corrente have gone down with ailments already. With that in mind, raise a cheer for Magnan-Grenier, who has provided both size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and minutes (an average 16:28 of ice time) for the beleaguered squad.
The Rookie Report covers the top performances from first year NHLers. From Calder candidates to brief call-ups, we’ll bundle all the best together every other week only on thehockeynews.com
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