With the World Junior Championship less than a month away, chatter has already started in regards to who will and will not be in Buffalo for the annual classic. Team Canada brass are saying Brayden Schenn’s availability would be an “early Christmas present” from Los Angeles, while the Edmonton Oilers have already put the kibosh on any plans for Sweden to draft the services of Magnus Paajarvi. Here’s a look at some of the other rookies making news in the NHL right now.
The Avs have always expected Shattenkirk to provide offense from the defense and in his first NHL season the Boston U. alum is doing just that. Shattenkirk is currently riding a seven-game point streak, with two multi-point games included. He’s also playing major minutes lately, topping out at 24:40 vs. Dallas.
In his second call-up of the season, this time to replace the injured Marian Hossa, Morin had an eventful night in a 7-5 win over St. Louis. The deft sniper notched his first NHL point with an assist, registered a plus-2 rating and even dropped the gloves for his first major penalty. Morin duked it out with Chris Porter in the third period and more than held his own.
Scandella, who won silver with Canada at last year’s world juniors, is one of several young blueliners to make their NHL debuts with the Wild this season. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound rearguard has one assist through five games and has shown nice offensive instincts along the way.
Called up from the American League’s Marlies alongside Nazem Kadri, Aulie provides the opposite of his fellow rook; sturdy ‘D,’ not flashy ‘O.’ The Maple Leafs needed both, so it’s no surprise Aulie and his 6-foot-5, 217-pound frame has been given a look. A plus-1 in his past five games, Aulie has provided depth and great reach for the Buds.
He started off hot, cooled down and looks like he’s warming up again. Instability is practically the Rangers’ religion, so it makes sense Stepan would go through trials as a freshman. But the youngster has been playing on the top line with Marian Gaborik and Alex Frolov lately and has nine points in his past 10 games.
Just a couple months into his NHL career and Burmistrov already has his YouTube goal. The Thrashers are hot right now and the young Russian has been a contributor at both ends of the ice, with 10 points and a plus-5 rating in 25 games.
Goaltending controversy in Chicago? Why not? Crawford is on a five-game win streak and has usurped veteran Marty Turco in the Blackhawks crease. The rookie has played the past three games for Chicago and looked solid overall. In fact, before a 7-5 slugfest win over St. Louis, Crawford hadn’t given up an even-strength goal in three games. His 2.38 goals-against average ranks 10th in the NHL.
Jaroslav Halak is playing great in St. Louis, but Carey Price is holding up his end of the bargain for the Habs, which takes some of the pressure off Eller, the main piece in that controversial summer trade. The Denmark native has been a hard worker all year, but recently cashed in his first NHL goal, tallying against Los Angeles.
Riding a three-game point streak, Eberle has been consistent in his rookie campaign, but he’s also shown strength as a puck hawk. The freshman right winger leads all newbies in takeaways with an average of one per game. He’s also averaging nearly 19 minutes of ice time per game, but has been playing more than that recently.
The Miami University alum notched his first NHL goal in his first game of the season against Montreal and has provided the Kings with more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, crucial to a team that is longing for the return of injured veteran blueliner Willie Mitchell.
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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