By far, one of the most difficult things to do in these projection posts is predict which rookies are going to earn a spot with their NHL club and then figure out how many points they are going to push for in the season. This hasn't exactly been my forte in the last couple of seasons, but here I am again, pulling out the rookies for a third post of it's kind, giving it my best go.
The entry draft this summer wasn't exactly full of hype, but the top two kids certainly will have a shot with their new teams and personally, I like Nolan Patrick's chances of a better season in Philadelphia than Nico Hischier in New Jersey. I wouldn't necessarily say that it will be the telling point for either player's careers, but Patrick is my favourite today for the Calder Trophy.
Still, I think the biggest competition for the top rookie will come from the drafts of previous summers, as some top prospects were showcased at the end of last season and figured out what it was going to take to have a full-time job in the NHL. There were also a few that got that look at the beginning of last season and went back to junior to work on the little things that would get them the longer look in training camp. These are the kids we could be most excited for and we should be in for a fun season.
Let's just have ourselves a quick reminder of what qualifies a player as a rookie... "To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in more than 25 NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie."
|Joel Eriksson Ek||F||45||MIN|
|Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson||F||15||BOS|
|Michael Dal Colle||F||5||NYI|
By my count, 254 rookies appeared in at least one game in the NHL last season, but only 15 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goalies were considered to be pool worthy among the 25 teams in my draft. Currently, I am showing nine forwards, five defensemen and only one goalie to do the same in my projections, but your guesses are likely just as good as mine.