Rookies, Diamonds and Disappointments

Who are the rookies in the NHL this season that have performed above or below expectations? Sure the season is still very young, but who has impressed you thus far?

My choices:

goaltenders: Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Ward and Ryan Miller have played admirably well as starters for their teams, but who will stay at the top of their game and who will fall off, and why?

forwards: Alex Ovechkin has been all over the place for the Caps so far this season. Sidney Crosby has certainly been outplayed by Ovechkin so far, will Sidney kick it up a notch soon? I haven’t seen or heard much of the Flyers’ two golden boys Carter and Richards, playing decent at best I guess. Brandon Bochenski has been pretty good for the Sens so far.

Thomas Vanek has played well and been a strong playmaker for the Sabres, but outside of the shootout against Tampa (which doesn’t count under his stats) he has yet to score a goal. He’s gotten many chances and just been unable to put one in thus far, but you can be sure when he finally does get a good bounce he’ll score an avalanche of goals over the course of a week or so.

defense: I’m not too familiar with defensive rookies this season. I don’t recall if Jack Johnson is playing with the Canes or not. Deon Phaneuf has been pretty solid for Calgary. Fedor Tyutin (sp) seems to be a general on the Rangers blueline, but Kondratiev hasn’t been as good, possibly just in comparison.

I just picked out those rookies I’ve recognized over the first few weeks of the season. I know I’ve left out many strong performing young players that I may not have known were rookies. Who else has played strong in the rookie class so far this season? Who just hasn’t given you what you expected, and who will rebound and drop off? Add your list of players, and comment away.