Rookies (or “first-year gamers” as captain Zdeno Chara prefers) figured to play an integral position this season for the Boston Bruins. Eschewing the big-name free agent signings of years previous and opting as an alternative to journey the youth wave, success was to be largely predicated on the readiness of a number of promising prospects inside the pipeline.
It was considerably of a dangerous proposition for Basic Supervisor Don Sweeney and the Bruins entrance workplace. In any case, with simply six playoff video games to talk of over the earlier three seasons there was little room for regression; it’s not a stretch to say that seats (although not but “scorching”) have been starting to heat up.
Danton Heinen (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Pondering the latest success of Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk led me to marvel, “What are one of the best rookie campaigns in Bruins historical past?”
Let’s discover out.
In no explicit order:
Sergei Samsonov, 1997-98
As one in every of three gamers drafted with the picks acquired from the Hartford Whalers for Glen Wesley, Samsonov vastly outshone his extra heralded rookie teammate Joe Thornton in his rookie marketing campaign. At 19 years of age, Samsonov’s 22 objectives, 25 assists and 47 factors all topped the rookie scoring charts. Not even future members of the 1,000 Level Membership Patrik Elias or Patrick Marleau may contact the Russian water bug that yr. (Sidenote: Patrick Marleau is extraordinarily outdated).
Sergei Samsonov towards his former group ((AP Photograph/Karl B DeBlaker)
He would go on to document an extra seven factors in six playoff video games earlier than being named the 1998 Calder Trophy winner, capturing 49 of 60 first-place votes. The eighth total choose within the 1997 Draft would finally document 376 factors in 514 video games for Boston earlier than a 2006 commerce despatched him to Edmonton for numerous elements, together with the draft choose which become Milan Lucic.
Barry Pederson, 1981-82
Identified extra lately as a studio analyst for NESN and the participant traded for Cam Neely, Barry Pederson was a scoring dynamo for the Bruins earlier than a collection of shoulder illnesses derailed his profession.
No Bruins rookie earlier than nor since has topped Pederson’s 44 markers in the course of the 1981-82 marketing campaign. The truth is, solely six gamers in NHL historical past have ever topped these totals. Sadly for Pederson, a kind of gamers did so in the identical yr, permitting Dale Hawerchuk to seize the Calder Trophy at season’s finish.
Pederson’s 92 factors in 80 video games ranked second on the group behind Rick Middleton, and he contributed an extra 18 factors over simply 11 playoff video games that Spring.
He finally accrued 408 factors in 347 video games for Boston previous to being traded for a future Bruins legend.
Tuukka Rask, 2009-10
Regardless of making 5 appearances throughout the earlier two seasons, Tuukka Rask was nonetheless technically a rookie in the course of the 2009-10 Season. And he didn’t disappoint.
Tuukka Rask (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports activities)
With reigning Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas struggling amidst a lingering hip damage, the then-22-year-old Rask had little problem taking the reigns. Over 45 appearances the Finn posted one of the best goals-against-average (1.97) and save proportion (.931) within the NHL that season. His document of 22-12-5 carried Boston into the playoffs and, finally, inside one aim of the Jap Convention Finals.
Rask would go on to seize a Vezina of his personal in the course of the 2013-14 Season and is presently taking part in his greatest hockey since that marketing campaign. With 218 wins-and-counting, he continues to make former Bruins interim GM Jeff Gorton look good for buying and selling one other participant on this listing to acquire his providers.
Joe Juneau & Dmitri Kvartalnov, 1992-93
Although Juneau’s numbers and influence eclipsed these of Kvartalnov, the 2 have been too good concurrently (on the identical line, no much less) to listing only one.
With star ahead Cam Neely restricted to simply 13 video games due to one of many dirtiest performs (and gamers) in NHL historical past, two relative unknowns put the Bruins on their backs in the course of the 1992-93 marketing campaign.
Flanking legendary playmaker Adam Oates, the duo mixed for 62 objectives and 174 factors. Juneau’s 32-goal, 102 level marketing campaign (70 assists!) would’ve netted him the Calder in nearly some other season. In any case, no Bruins rookie (and solely 4 NHL rookies in historical past) ever eclipsed these 102 factors. However like Pederson earlier than him, Juneau was outshone by some child named Teemu Selanne, whose 76-goal, 132 level season ranks as one of the best rookie marketing campaign of all time.
The Finnish Flash (Credit score: Glenn Cratty/ALLSPORT)
Kvartalnov was no slouch both, choosing up 30 objectives and 72 factors in 73 video games. The truth is, he got here inside two factors that season of fellow rookie (and future star) Eric Lindros.
Unusually sufficient, neither participant had a lot of a historical past in Boston. Juneau was traded on the deadline the next season for veteran defenseman Al Iafrate in one in every of Harry Sinden’s greatest head-scratchers, whereas Kvartalnov performed simply 39 extra video games in Black and Gold earlier than spending the subsequent 13 seasons taking part in in numerous leagues throughout Europe.
However for one shining season the duo have been Boston Bruins hockey, and ensured that this humble author’s first youth hockey jersey featured Juneau’s #49.
Bobby Orr, 1966-67
Misplaced within the shuffle amidst Orr’s legendary, unparalleled profession and the group’s unmatched success loved throughout his tenure is the truth that throughout his rookie marketing campaign the Boston Bruins have been terrible. Horrible. No-good, very-bad, last-place dreadful.
Quantity 4, Bobby Orr (Dick Raphael-US PRESSWIRE)
The group’s 17-43-10 document ensured the membership would miss the playoffs for the eighth-straight season (longest drought in group historical past). And but one would’ve by no means identified how dangerous issues have been on the time, as a result of one teenager from Parry Sound, Ontario was starting to alter every part.
Orr picked up 13 objectives and 41 factors in 61 video games that season for the B’s (second greatest scoring fee on the group) in an period through which defensemen have been nearly actively discouraged from taking part in offense. Extra outstanding than these seemingly pedestrian (by Bobby Orr requirements) totals is the plus-30 he registered on the league’s worst group.
Take into consideration that. The last-place Bruins had a aim differential that season of minus-68, but Orr nonetheless managed a plus-30. And these weren’t sheltered minutes the child was taking part in. When he was on the ice the Bruins have been harmful. When he was on the bench they have been fodder. Carrion. Ripe for the choosing.
He cruised to the Calder Trophy en path to probably the most legendary, adorned and finally transient careers in sports activities historical past, not to mention hockey.
Could 10, 1979: A now-infamous “too many males” penalty versus arch rival Montreal in a Recreation 7 permits “Les Habitants” to tie and finally win the sport and collection, but once more crushing the hopes of a company and area.
August 9, 1979: The Boston Bruins choose Quebec-born defenseman Raymond Bourque within the draft with a choose gifted to them by the Los Angeles Kings.
Although the latter might not solely make up for the previous, it served as great comfort.
Raymond Bourque (Photograph by Denis Brodeur/NHLI by way of Getty Photographs)
As an 18-year-old simply months faraway from the draft podium, Bourque dazzled the Boston devoted instantly, scoring a aim in his NHL debut. He had the luxurious of becoming a member of a group that was significantly extra proficient than the squad Orr debuted with: Jean Ratelle, Rick Middleton, Brad Park, Terry O’Reilly, Wayne Cashman…there have been quite a few Boston sports activities legends on that group. And but a teenage defenseman managed to complete the season with the fourth most factors on the group; his 48 assists have been second solely to Middleton.
On the time, Bourque’s 65-point marketing campaign was the best level whole ever for a rookie defenseman. His plus-52 was the third greatest mark in all the NHL; a testomony to his even and equal dominance at each ends of the rink. The person was as sturdy as they arrive on the again finish.
Like Orr earlier than him, Bourque’s play throughout his rookie marketing campaign was a harbinger of issues to come back. Additionally like Orr, Bourque walked-away with the Calder at season’s finish.
Frank Brimsek, 1938-39
Within the late 1930’s, the NHL common season noticed groups play a 48-game schedule. In 1938-39, the Boston Bruins received 36 of these contests. Of their 36 wins, 33 have been claimed by a 23-year-old rookie from Eveleth, Minnesota named Frank Brimsek.
Brimsek had bounced round considerably within the years previous to his NHL debut. There was a season at St. Cloud State, adopted by a number of seasons with the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets and one marketing campaign with the Windfall Reds (Boston’s affiliate). When Brimsek first arrived in Boston it’s unlikely that anybody anticipated what was to play out that yr.
Frank Brimsek (Courtesy of Flickr)
He recorded six shutouts in his first seven profession video games, incomes himself the nifty nickname “Mr. Zero” within the course of and serving to Bruins followers transfer previous the damage to (and subsequent commerce of) legendary netminder Tiny Thompson.
Brimsek finally posted a document of 33-9-1, main the Bruins to a first-place end to shut out the common season. His GAA of 1.56 led the league, as did his 10 shutouts. Within the playoffs, Brimsek received eight of 12 contests with a 1.25 GAA alongside the way in which to assist the Bruins seize their second-ever Stanley Cup.
When all was mentioned and carried out, “Mr. Zero” received the Calder Trophy, the Vezina Trophy and the Stanley Cup. Had the Conn Smythe Trophy existed in 1939 he would’ve received that too.
The 12 consecutive video games in 1938-39 through which Brimsek conceded two objectives or fewer was a mark unmatched for 76 years.
Honorable Point out:
Derek Sanderson, 1967-68
Andrew Raycroft, 2003-04
Brad Boyes, 2005-06
Brad Marchand, 2010-11