At 28, Colorado’s Greg Mauldin isn’t eligible for the Calder Trophy and when the Avs get their full complement back, he’s likely destined for the minors again. But how about some love for a player whose career once took him to Bloomington of the United League and Sweden’s second division before taking advantage of an NHL opportunity this year and notching nine points and a plus-8 rating in 16 games? Here’s a look at some of the other fresh faces making noise right now.
He gave Dan Ellis one more problem this past weekend and had the hockey world all a-twitter with his spin-o-rama theatrics in the shootout, but when it comes down to it, Omark scored the winner, which was the most important aspect of the move. Brash and speedy, Omark has one assist in his first three games for the Baby Oil (there’s gotta be a better way of saying that), but opportunities abound in Edmonton these days.
He’s being shuttled back and forth from the minors for cap reasons, but the Hawks are glad they grabbed Morin in the Dustin Byfuglien trade. With Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa down, Morin has filled in admirably with two goals in his past three games. The problem now is who gets the young sniper over Christmas: Chicago, or the U.S. world junior team?
Newsflash: The Predators have a hot new goalie. Lindback, the towering Swedish freshman, shut out the Isles for his second straight goose egg and the stats for the 6-foot-6 netminder just keep improving. In 13 appearances, he’s only been tagged with one regulation loss and his .931 save percentage has him tied for fifth in the league, while his 2.18 goals-against average ranks seventh.
The Sharks may be struggling this season, but Ferriero has been a bright spot since being called up in early November. The Boston College alum has five points and a plus-7 rating in 10 games on a team whose top players (Thornton, Pavelski, Marleau) have been among the worst in plus-minus. He’s also Calder eligible by the slimmest of margins, having played 24 games last season.
With 16 points in 19 games, Shattenkirk is the runaway rookie leader in points per game and he’s doing it from the blueline. The offensively gifted defenseman has helped Colorado maintain its place in the West through a tough stretch of injuries, particularly on the blueline. Shattenkirk is also playing more than 20 minutes a game.
He seemed too slight to make the NHL as an 18-year-old, but Burmistrov has proven all doubters wrong this year. The affable Russian even dropped the mitts for his first NHL fight recently, taking on John Tavares in a tilt that perhaps featured the highest two draft picks ever to trade punches. Burmistrov took the decision too, even though few knuckles were chucked.
Quick and dogged around the puck, Ennis has four points in his past five games as the Sabres try to survive in the East. The diminutive left winger broke the 20-minute mark for the first time in an early December shootout win over Ottawa, playing a season-high 26 shifts in the process.
Since being called up in early December, Gagnon has provided the Stars with some nice depth, playing limited minutes, but contributing two points in four games. Those points represent the first of his fledgling NHL career and are a nice feather in the cap of a free agent signing who was in the ECHL three years ago.
The points have dried up for Carlson, but unlike the rest of the Caps, he’s found a way to keep contributing. The young blueliner leads all NHL rookies in blocked shots with 69 and is fourth in takeaways with 19 through 32 games. His 22:07 of ice time per game is also just seconds behind rookie leader Cam Fowler.
It was only for nine-and-a-half minutes in relief duty, but Bachman has officially made his NHL debut. The netminder, who always boasted excellent stats at Colorado College and in the minors, stopped all four shots he faced against Phoenix in an eventual 5-2 loss, but wasn’t tagged with the ‘L.’
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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