The NHL entry draft of last year was said to have one of the best groups of rookies in NHL history; even better than Sidney Crosby's draft year (which included Crosby, Carey Price, Keith Yandle, James Neal, and Bobby Ryan).
NHL fans all around the world were ecstatic to see what the rookies could do this year and now, the time has finally come.
Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel were the top two picks from the 2015 entry draft and currently play for Edmonton and Buffalo respectively. Each of these youngsters are considered to be franchise players and their impacts have already been felt throughout their respective team.
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In fact, McDavid made five assists while Jack Eichel scored twice and made four assists during the preseaon. McDavid is currently projected to have 73 points and Eichel 66 points which is superb for any rookie playing their first year.
Not only are McDavid and Eichel making a huge impact in their teams, but a number of other rookies are making their mark in their teams as well. Oscar Lindberg of the New York Rangers, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Max Domi of the Arizona Coyotes have made their presence known in the NHL as well.
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Lindberg leads all rookies in scoring with two goals so far, as Larkin and Domi follow with one goal and one assist each. All three of these rookies play vital roles in their team as they play in the top lines of their respective teams.
Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks and Sergei Plotnikov of the Pittsburgh Penguins are primed to have great rookie seasons as well. Panarin currently plays on the second line of the Chicago Blackhawk's offense alongside Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov while Plotnikov plays with Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. These rookies will definitely be in the race for the Calder Trophy as they play alongside the best players in the NHL.
Other notable rookies include: Daniel Sprong (Pittsburgh Penguins), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Anthony Duclair (Arizona Coyotes), Trevor van Riemsdyk (Chicago Blackhawks), and Sam Bennett (Calgary Flames). All of these youngsters all play pivotal roles in their respective team's depth chart as they all have tremendous potential to succeed in the NHL.
Not only are there rookies that are more then eager to succeed, but there are also other youngsters in the NHL who are looking to step their game up to the next level. Mark Stone was third in scoring after the All Star break last season is looking to play a more pivotal role in the first line offense of the Ottawa Senators this year.
Other stars such as Teuvo Teravainen of the Chicago Blackhawks, John Gibson (Anaheim Ducks), Derrick Pouliot (Pittsburgh Penguins), Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning), Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers), David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), Damon Severson (New Jersey Devils) and Mike Hoffman (Ottawa Senators) have already made their mark on their teams and will be looking to improve on last year's numbers.
This year's roster is full of rookies and youngsters who have incredible skill and potential to succeed in this league. Could Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel become the next Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin? No one knows. But what we do know is that we have a year of exciting NHL hockey waiting for all of us.
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