Tag: NHL rookies

Elias Pettersson Breaks Canucks Point Record For Rookies

It has been an unbelievable season for Elias Pettersson and this just adds onto his already storied rookie season. Pettersson has been the number one guy in Vancouver all season and has been paired perfectly with one of the best shooters in the NHL, Brock Boeser. There is only good things to come in Vancouver with Pettersson’s play-making ability and vision plus Boeser’s shot the two will be causing nightmares for NHL goalies for years to come.

On the year Pettersson has 27 goals and 34 assists which securely puts him as the highest scoring Canucks rookie in franchise history. Pettersson has 61 points surpassing Pavel Bure and Ivan Hlinka for possession of first place among rookie points in Canucks franchise.

To say it has been a slow month for Pettersson is crazy also, in his 8 games this month he only has 5 points. I say only because in the previous four months he played plus four games in January he has been a point per game or better player.

Pettersson had 10 points in eight October games, 12 points in fourteen November games, 17 points in fourteen December games, 6 points in four January games, 11 points in fourteen February games and now 5 points in eight March games.

There is only up from here for Pettersson he has the making to be a Hart Trophy and Art Ross trophy finalist for sure. He has 61 points right now and 62 games in, with 10 games to play we can assume he will finish anywhere between 65-70 points. Which will put him 8th among rookie scoring since 1998.

Rasmus Dahlin named Rookie of the Month (November)

It is probably hard to forget about Dahlin but with the Sabres recent success there has not been a ton of buzz circulating around the first overall pick. With the Sabres 10-game win streak and top-five ranking in the NHL, we cannot forget about one of the reasons the Sabres have been so good this year. 

As we are remembered that although Dahlin is behind Elias Pettersson by 8 points for the rookie lead in points. Dahlin was recently crowned rookie of the month for November. In the month Dahlin managed one goal and nine assists in 15 games. Dahlin has not been a human highlight reel in the NHL like he was in international play last season but the rookie is a major reason the Sabres are 17-7-3 with 37 points tied for first with Tampa Bay. Just the sheer fact that at 18-years-old Dahlin can be an impactful player and play many roles on the Sabres blue line adds a ton of depth and versatility to the Sabres defense now. This sure won’t be the last time we hear Dahlin’s name in relation to the NHL acclamation’s/awards. Dahlin is tied for 23rd in the NHL among the point leaders for defenseman. 

Fantasy Hockey rookies looking to make an impact from the start

Rasmus Dahlin (D, BUF): The sky is the limit with this rookie defenseman, being compared to Nicklas Lidstrom and one of the best defenseman to emerge in the league in quite sometime has set others on their high horse about Dahlin. He will 100 percent play right away too, and right in the top four mix. Dahlin is slotted on line two right now with Zach Bogosian. These two will be eating up 20+ minutes per game, while Dahlin will also be working on power play with Rasmus Ristolanien. Dahlin as we all know is a very solid offensive defenseman, who will learn the importance of being as solid on both ends of the puck early on. He picks up on things quickly and is an extremely quick learner. While he may not be the biggest guy on the ice, he is not afraid to be physical although his speed and awareness is the biggest part of his game. Dahlin is capable of 45 plus points this season and an early Calder favorite.

Andrei Svechnikov (RW, CAR): The second most highly sought after rookie coming into the draft, the Hurricanes number two overall pick and top three forward will be thrown into the mix right away. Svechnikov is coming off a 40 goal season in the OHL with the Barrie Colts and 11 points in 8 playoff games with Barrie as well. Svechnikov played in 16 International games between the U18 and U20 Russian team and in those 16 games he collected a total of 20 points. This is a good sign for Carolina as they may be able to add another scoring forward to their offense to help supplement Sebastian Aho as well. Svechnikov is slotted with Aho and other Russian counter part Valentin Zykov as well. Between seeing first line time and power play time, Svechnikov has the potential for a big rookie season a player you for sure will keep an eye on in the draft.

Brady-Tkachuk-SenatorsBrady Tkachuk (LW, OTT): After telling Boston University he intends to sign with Ottawa for the 2018-19 season and signing an entry level deal it is apparent Tkachuk wants to make an impact on the Senators line up right away. Withdrawing from BU and jumping into the NHL will be a big transition for the young forward. Tkachuk is coming off a 31 point season in 40 games with BU and 9 points in 7 games with USA’s U20 team during the World Juniors. Tkachuk is a little different than the Tkachuk we know on Calgary, Brady is more of a playmaking, scoring type of forward, where his brother is known for his offensive ability as well as his on-ice antics. Brady is slotted with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ryan Dzingel as well as the second power play right now. Tkachuk may not have the best tools around him but he does have some solid line mates to help him ease his way into his first year, to start Tkachuk may be a little snake bitten but once he gets comfortable I think we can expect a 35 point season out of him.

Filip Zadina (RW, DET): This kid is on a mission. With a couple teams passing on Zadina and falling to sixth overall Zadina even said he is out to make those who passed on him feel sorry for it. Zadina is an all around forward who can play two sides of the puck very well while also being a dynamic goal scorer. Zadina is coming off a 44 goal and 82 point season in 57 games with Halifax in the QMJHL. He has signed with Detroit and as of now he is slotted to make the opening day roster but we may not know about Zadina’s situation until early September. Zadina could potentially play with Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Vanek or Henrik Zetterberg a lot of question marks for this roster. Either way, if Zadina is playing with a puck moving forward and someone able to help the scoring winger get his chances we may see a solid first year out of Zadina. If he does play the full 82 games Zadina has potential for a 40 plus point year.

Elias Pettersson (C/RW, VAN): The 2017 5th overall draft pick, spent his time in the SHL last season 56 points in 44 games. After a full year of development and Vancouver scouts analyzing his game it is apparent they believe Pettersson is ready for the next level. We saw a lot of Pettersson during International play where he tallied 14 points in 21 games. Pettersson is a very solid forward with ability to play all three zones, luckily he will be with other young prospect Jonathan Dahlen and veteran Loui Eriksson to start. If Dahlen and Pettersson get off on the right foot they will be making noise from the start. Being on a team like Vancouver is tough but Pettersson is capable of being a top six forward in Vancouver for many years and a player we will being hear a lot of over the next few years.

Eeli Tolvanen Nashville PredatorsEeli Tolvanen (LW, NSH): Tolvanen was drafted late in the first round in 2017, and being on a team like Nashville it is tough to crack that line up. Tolvanen played a few games late in the year last season and some playoff games but not enough to get an idea of what type of NHL player he. Tolvanen is slotted on the third line with Ryan Hartman and Nick Bonino, two very solid counter parts for the young forward. During the 2017-18 season he played in the KHL scoring 36 points in 49 games, and most known for his World Junior play with Finland. Tolvanen is a little under sized but being on a team like Nashville will really help his confidence and development. If all goes right and he sticks in  the NHL next season Tolvanen could be a solid 3rd line 35 point guy next season.

Casey Mittlestadt (C, BUF): Mittlestadt spent his time last year with the University of Minnesota, the highly sought after prospect went 8th overall to Buffalo in 2017. Being passed by some teams due to size and physical ability, Mittlestadt will have a lot to prove at the NHL level. As Buffalo continues to improve on both ends of the puck this is an exciting time for Buffalo fans and players. Mittlestadt emerges at the same time as Dahlin so the attention may not be all on him, which is a good thing. Right now he is slotted next to Connor Sheary, a player who learned a lot from the best forward in hockey and Kyle Okposo a veteran, will be good for Mittlestadt. Mittlestadt played in six games last season scoring 1 goal and 4 assists, as well as 30 points in 34 games with Minnesota and being the MVP of the World Juniors tallying 11 points in 7 games. Mittlestadt will be a sure fantasy option next year for teams, he may get off to a slow start, or “slower” start than many expect but when he gets situated and settles in look for a solid 50 point season out of Mittlestadt.

Potential to crack the line up

  • Quinn Hughes (D, VAN): Drafted by Vancouver in the first round in 2018, Hughes has potential to crack the line up due to Vancouver lacking defensive depth but it may be best for the young defenseman to develop a little more and see more minutes at the NCAA level.
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi (C, MTL): The most infamous pick of the draft as the Canadiens really stretched on Kotkaniemi it would be weird to not see him on the Canadiens roster as their offense has very little depth and they could some more solid center pieces. 
  • Noah Dobson (D, NYI): Maybe late in the season but the Islanders are in no rush with Dobson as they know this kid will be a solid counter part to Ryan Pulock and the Islanders defense.
  • Oliver Wahlstrom (RW, NYI): No rush here with all the Islanders offensive prospects but Wahlstrom did sign an entry level deal and we may see him later in the season.
  • Adam Boqvist (D, CHI): As the biggest reason Chicago failed last season was due to lack of defensive depth it may be smart to play Boqvist but as the young defenseman is ready for the NHL level it may best to let him see more minutes elsewhere.

 

Matt Barzal is GOOD at hockey.

The fact this kid has just anonymously won the Calder trophy is unreal in itself. Yes, Brock Boeser missed the last month of the year but the winner was clear from day one when Matt Barzal blessed the Islanders with his presence.

Aside from the fact, Barzal has 82 points in 80 games, four game-winning goals, and 26 power play points. I am not sure we can keep track of his accomplishments of player of the week, player of the month, etc this kid has gone above and beyond in all expcetations this team and fans had for him. He’s up there in assists among the league leader(Barzal 60, Giroux 67), right there in points among the league(sort of he is top-20 though), and is just a point behind John Tavares for points among the Islanders leaders. Barzal has proved to be one of the best rookies in the league and one of the best rookies in the last 10 years or so since Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Just after Barzal’s four point night Tuesday, he became the first rookie since Crosby to record 60 assists in one season and the first rookie to record 80 points since Malkin. Process that, and realize who Malkin and Crosby are.

Barzal has not only shattered records month after month, but I think the conversation has to start that Barzal may possibly be the best rookie in New York for quite some time. I do not know all the rookies in NY sports history but he has certainly made this Islanders team much better than they should be and has gained a ton of media attention that has put New York sports on the map even more than it already was.

Talk is cheap, so for the sake of me trying to sway you here, watch this video of Barzal and tell me your jaw did not drop several times.

Brock Boeser earns rookie of the month

This kid has been UNREAL and that goal last night vs Nashville was disgusting, a little toe-drag action through the defenseman legs for an absolute rip over the goalies left shoulder. Boeser’s goal last night marked his 13th goal of the season. Boeser has 13 goals, 12 assists, and 11 power play points in 23 games.

Through the month of November, Boeser tallied 11 goals, 5 assists in 15 games. Boeser leads all rookies in points(24) by three, all rookies in goals(13) by two, and is fourth in assists(12). Vancouver has definitely gained an elite level scorer for years in coming, and with these numbers, Boeser is a favorite for the Calder right now and definitely a player that will in the mix later in the year.

Aside from Boeser’s November rookie of the month award, the 20-year-old forward scored his 30th point in 32 games becoming only the eighth player since 2000 to do so. This will not be the only time we hear this kid winning rookie of the month again, and right now I do not see a dip in production. Boeser is going to be exciting to watch for several years, I am excited, you should be too.

My 10 Thoughts For the 2017-2018 NHL Season

10 Thoughts

    1. Are the kids alright? With the emergence of the Toronto rookies last season all eyes are on the center of the hockey universe. This team has high aspirations and experts even putting them in cup contention. Will there be a sophomore slump for any of their rookies like Nylander, Marner, Matthews, Brown, or Hyman? Will any exceed their historical numbers last season. This is something I am keeping a keen eye on for the ’17-18 season.
    2. Goaltending is finally handled in Dallas. With an elite offense, and a quality defense, now add in Ken Hitchcock, will the singing of Ben Bishop be enough to push this team into a cup contender or will they flounder in the most competitive division in hockey? This Bishop storyline will be one to ponder throughout the season.
    3. The Eastern Conference Wildcard is something to look at not now, but down the road as we get to February. For me it is only that final wild card spot up for contention by 4 teams. Those teams include Carolina, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York Islanders. This is a race that will be tight all season and will be fun to watch.
    4. Which team is the surprise to finish in last place? For me it is the Kings. With an older team with not much depth they could struggle to get many wins this season and will be interesting to watch how close they finish to the basement.
    5. Jack Eichel will put up big numbers this year. I want to see if he can turn into that elite player and finish high up in the Art Ross race this season. Buffalo is a very interesting team to watch this season.
    6. I want to see how Vegas competes this season. I do not have high hopes for them, but seeing a new team is always a fun time and will be fun to watch how the city embraces the new team.
    7. The health of Steven Stamkos. When he is healthy, he is one of the best players in the league. With many injuries these last couple seasons, I want to see him stay healthy and believe he will be the biggest impact on how well the Lightning perform this season.
    8. Will we finally see a Canadian team lift the Stanley Cup? It has been 24 years since Montreal won in 1993, with a strong Edmonton and Toronto team, can the Canadian teams finally bring a cup to the Great White North.
    9. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ run for a third straight Stanley Cup. The Pens are once again expected to be a top team in the East, and with a strong lineup it is not out of the question that they can repeat again. This is something that has not happened since the Islanders won 4 straight from 1980-1983.
    10. Which rookie will make the biggest impact this season? I have my eyes on McAvoy for Boston but players like Patrick and Hischier could turn their franchises around for the better.10 thoughts

 

Fantasy Hockey: NHL Rookies to make an impact

Part three was a little bit challenging to narrow the last couple of rookies, since Tyson Jost got demoted to the fourth line, Pierre Luc Dubois is not even listed on the Blue Jackets roster and I’m not sold on Dylan Strome. 

Kailer Yamamoto: RW- Edmonton Oilers

After an impressive preseason, Yamamoto cracked the Oilers roster and will be a top-six forward to start the season. Yamamoto was third in the preseason for goals(5) and showed major signs of progression this preseason. Not many thought Yamamoto would crack the roster let along the top six, but if this kid can stay in that position and possibly play along McDavid, he could see his numbers soar. Yamamoto may not have great size but his speed, excellent hockey sense, and senses in the offensive zone are remarkable. For the WHL Spokane Chiefs he scored 99 points in 65 games, the 2017 first round 22nd overall pick, Yamamoto will have his chance to see NHL time now. If he plays a full 82-games and remains in the top six we can expect 20G, 25A from Yamamoto.

Josh Ho-Sang- RW- New York Islanders

Last season we saw Ho-Sang play 20 some odd games at the NHL level and it was enough to access his game as elusive, quick and breakaway speed. Ho-Sang’s top quality has to be his speed, his ability to gain that extra step on guys gives him an advantage coming out of the defensive zone. He brings a spark to the Islanders lineup and but the only problem could be the attention Ho-Sang will see early in the season. Ho-Sang and Islander fans are expecting big things from him, paired with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier, he will be the goal scorer on that line. It would not be surprising to see Ho-Sang get some Calder contention as well, next season look for Ho-Sang to score 22G, 20A.

Joel Eriksson Ek, C- Minnesota Wild

A major dark horse in the contention for rookies to consider for the 17-18 season but on this Minnesota offense, he will be surrounded by a ton of talent and players that can help excel his game at the NHL level. Eriksson Ek has played 15 games at the NHL level last season where he tallied 7 points but previous to that he has played much of his time over in Sweden. He is a top-notch center, with good size and can be effective in all areas of the ice. Eriksson Ek has goal scoring ability and plays a fine two-way game, a once 2015 1st round 20th overall pick will be given the chance to finally propel his NHL game. Look for Eriksson Ek to be a 12 goal scorer, 18 assists and play more of a defensive centerman role.