Ah, rookies. So filled with promise and potential, providing teasing glimpses of the stardom and success that certainly lies forward. It doesn’t at all times work out that means, after all, however attempt to preserve an optimistic mindset as we have a look at the NHL’s 10 main rookies by means of the primary month-plus of 2019-20:
.933Solely six rookie goalies have seen motion in 2019-20, and Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko can stake a declare as one of the best first-year netminder to date with a scintillating save proportion by means of 5 begins. His 1.99 goals-against common additionally leads all rookie goalies. The truth is, the 23-year-old Demko has the second-best GAA and and fourth-best save proportion within the league, rookies and veterans alike.
1.56The goals-per-60-minutes stat may very well be thought-about considerably irrelevant as a result of no one, after all, performs all 60 minutes in a sport. Alternatively, it’s a window to see who’s delivering probably the most scoring punch within the time they’re allotted. And it seems, probably the most potent-per-minute rookie scorer is none apart from Dallas’ Denis Gurianov, who – after you do the maths on 4 objectives in 13 video games at 11:52 per outing – is available in with a 1.56 objectives per 60. Pittsburgh’s Sam Lafferty ranks second at 1.34, adopted by Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson at 1.30 (extra on him shortly). Not the names you have been anticipating, maybe, however New Jersey’s Jack Hughes (1.01) and the Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko (Zero.85) each managed to ranked within the prime 10 at fifth and eighth, respectively.
5While Columbus’ Elvis Merzlikins and New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood entered the 2019-20 season wanting like one of the best bets as rookie stoppers, it’s Washington’s Ilya Samsonov who has collected probably the most wins up to now amongst freshmen netminders. Samsonov (5-1-Zero, 2.38 GAA, .915 save proportion) has outplayed Capitals incumbent Braden Holtby (7-1-Three, Three.36 GAA, .895 save proportion) by means of the early portion of the NHL schedule. The 22-year-old Samsonov, whom the Caps drafted 22nd total in 2015, is giving each indication that he can take over from Holtby – maybe as quickly as subsequent season, with Holtby probably leaving D.C. as a UFA in the summertime.
6OK, again to Victor Olofsson. The 24-year-old Sabres winger, a seventh-round choose in 2014, continues to guide NHL rookies in objectives, however his six tallies all got here in his first seven video games – and all on the facility play – as he hasn’t discovered the again of the web in his previous 9 outings. Nonetheless, six objectives and 11 factors in 16 video games from a participant who was picked 181st total is a reasonably good payoff. The Sabres definitely like what they see – they’re giving Olofsson almost 17-and-a-half minutes of ice time per sport, which is greater than some other rookie ahead.
15Colorado’s Cale Makar got here into 2019-20 as a preferred choose for the Calder Trophy, and he has not disillusioned. The savvy, cellular, puck-rushing defenseman has 15 factors in 16 video games to guide all rookies in scoring, together with probably the most assists (13) and tied for the rookie lead in power-play factors (eight). Rasmus Dahlin had 44 factors for Buffalo final season, whereas Dion Phaneuf, with 49 factors in 2005-06, is the NHL’s highest-scoring rookie defenseman previously 20 years. Barring harm, Makar’s a lock to blow previous these totals.
21:18It’s a little bit of a shock to see Edmonton defenseman Ethan Bear because the rookie chief in common ice time, forward of higher-profile blueliners similar to Makar (19:15) and Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes (19:30). Bear, 22, was a fifth-round choose (124th total) in 2014 and a bubble candidate to make the workforce out of coaching camp, however he’s seen his function enhance because the season has progressed. He performed simply 15:33 within the season opener and was beneath 20 minutes in 4 of Edmonton’s first 5 video games. Since then, he’s performed 20-plus minutes in 12 of 13 video games, together with a season-high 26:48 in opposition to Washington on Oct. 24, whereas seeing time on the highest pairing with Darnell Nurse.
36Montreal defenseman Cale Fleury and Toronto winger Trevor Moore have been probably the most bodily rookies, delivering 36 hits apiece, although Fleury has executed so in 11 video games in comparison with Moore’s 17 appearances. One other Leafs rookie, winger Dmytro Timashov, sits in third with 34 hits.
41Toronto seems to have an enviable all-around expertise in Ilya Mikheyev. The 25-year-old proper winger, signed as a free agent after spending the previous 4 seasons within the KHL, leads all rookies with 41 photographs in 17 video games. However that’s not all. He additionally has one of the best plus/minus amongst first-year gamers (plus-7) and leads in shorthanded ice time per sport (2:31), which says lots concerning the belief that Leafs coach Mike Babcock already has in Mikheyev. Oh yeah, he’s additionally tied for second amongst rookies in objectives (4) and factors (11).
55.5Blake Lizotte isn’t precisely a big-name rookie – at 5-foot-7 and 172 kilos, he’s not large in any respect — however let’s give the L.A. Kings child some credit score. First-year gamers are notoriously weak relating to faceoffs, but the undersized 21-year-old free agent out St. Cloud State is holding his personal within the circle with a 55.5-percent successful proportion. Lizotte trails Ottawa’s J.C. Beaudin (58.1 %), however the Senators rookie has seen simply seven NHL video games and 43 faceoffs in comparison with 16 and 117 for Lizotte. Solely New Jersey’s Jack Hughes (179) and Anaheim’s Sam Metal (126) have taken extra attracts, and each the Devils heart (43.6 %) and Geese pivot (51.6 %) have some work to do to catch Lizotte within the dot.
268Whereas Demko and Samsonov battle for “finest rookie goalie” bragging rights, New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood has been the busiest younger netminder, dealing with 268 photographs in 10 video games (9 begins). After going winless in his first three choices for the slow-starting Devils, Blackwood has received 4 of his previous seven begins, within the course of turning into the one rookie goalie to document a shutout.
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Tags: lists, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorSam McCaigCopy editor Sam McCaig rejoined The Hockey Information in 2017 after beforehand working at THN from 1999 to 2010. His profession excessive for objectives in a season is one.