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.


122 Responses to Rookies, Diamonds and Disappointments

  1. Resmo112 says:

    Jack Johnson just released a new album, HAHAHAHAHA. either way he had some commitment to a junior or college team, he wasn’t eligible for this season.

  2. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    ya here comes another 3 game winning streak with another 8 game winless streak?

  3. thatleafsguy says:

    hahaha our prospects are steen wellwood and stajan, moron, i seem to remember that the avs thought highly enough of wade belak to draft him with their first round pick hahahahha you’re laugh buddy. svatos is no where near as good as you might think he is and if he is show me the numbers…..

  4. thatleafsguy says:

    you’re funny, tellqvist is a very good goalie……..get a life, go watch spezza make souray look like a pilon or something the habs will be right there at the bottom of the playoff picture with the leafs fighting for the 7th and 8th playoff spot….you funny hab fans think you’re winning the stanley cup already 10 games into the season. not with less than average theodore and that crappy defence corp and the whole pile of midgets you have up front. just remember i said before the season theo wasnt worth the contract you frenchies and you montreal management gave him.

  5. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Patrick Leahy for the Boston Bruins has impressed me. I knew he’d be an NHL’er the first time i layed eyes on him in the SBHA (Sunnyvale Ball Hockey Association). Leahy and Randy formed the unstoppable “Cheeseburger” line. Man o’ man did they put up alot of points!

    PS. Cory, Trevor, Smokes let’s go!

  6. hockeyhead says:

    go b’s go

  7. 92-93 says:

    yeah, i wonder where you went.

    but its funny how no one jumped all over the oilers when the started to lose like, lets say, they would the Maple Leafs. you know why? because NOBODY CARES about the Oilers.

    no goaltending = no chance at the playoffs.

  8. 92-93 says:

    yeah i know my post is pretty immature … but i just had to do it with this guy. if he thinks he can get away with bashing other teams and completely ignoring the deficiencies in his own team (and without building a strong argument to bash other teams like the Leafs), then he is dreaming. I like the Oilers because of the 2 Smiths (Jason and Ryan), because of their younger guys and mix of vets (Peca and Pronger were good pick-ups). I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs but they will come close.

    are their any other oiler fans out there on HTR besides this dude?

  9. Slavik says:

    Why don;t you get a grip…

    I didn’t mean crosby was playign bad, just that ovechkin I think ovechkin has been playing better,

    of course we are only an 1/8th of the way into the season and so far ovechkin has been playing better than alot of people, it doesn’t mean that I think they suck.

    I raised the goals in comparison to assists, because every one is mentioning his points. he does have alot of points, However Jason Williams from detriot also has 14 points. Alot of people were just listing off how many points he had, so why is it unreasonable for me to just list off how many goals they have.

    I am not saying crosby is a crappy player, from what I have seen he is always creatign chances, bu tI have liked ovechkin more, I used goals as a counter argument to the Point nazi’s out there.

  10. habs_punk says:

    And Belfour was worth his?

    8-0

  11. habs79 says:

    Right and Belfour and the Toronto defense looked so good tonight, as good as Atlanta with their AHL goalie. Only one goal was on the powerplay, yep the Toronto defense is looking great. As for Tellqvist, he looked great stopping 15 of 18 shots. Theodore may be playing horrible, and you may not consider him worth his money. But how the hell did Belfour get $6 million a year, no one was going to go after him, good thing the players took a roll back, or the Leafs would have really been screwed.

  12. tim95030 says:

    Milan Michaelek(Sharks) has been playing very well thus far. He may not be putting up 14 points, but he has been playing pretty well. He has great skating ability which is great being his first rookie season started with a goal in his 1st game and a torn acl(or mcl maybe) in his 2nd game. Then he retore the same ligament again that year during his rehab assignment in the ahl, but now he’s a fixture on the sharks roster and has been playing great.

  13. distance7 says:

    There are, or used to be back when I first started on here. They were level-headed and normal, so I guess they were driven away.

  14. bernie1parent says:

    im going to come to defense of the flyers “golden boys” here. Jeff Carter had a sever case of mono (or something like that) and hasnt been at 100%. At best 75 from what ive heard. He should be getting healthier as we go on, so look for him to step it up a notch.

    Mike Richards has 3 goals and 6 assist in 9 games. Not only has he been great offensively, but he has been one of the best on our team defensively as he has already notched a short handed goal and seems to be the only one killing off penalties.

  15. poulin20 says:

    Not to mention Richards has been probably the Flyers third best player after Gagne and Forsberg.

  16. nyrules11 says:

    how is chris higgins doin in MTL. It was nice to see my home town boy get his first goal against the Rangers but i havent heard of him since.

    Lundqvist and Labarbera have been amazing.

    So many rookies are putting themselves among the best right now. Its gonna be a good race.

  17. habsoverserver says:

    If he is for real, he is going to be a star for many years.

  18. PSU_Penguin says:

    In all the games I’ve seen Fleury has looked the most solid out of all the goaltenders. It’s a shame he’s been banished to the AHL this year because of contracts. I could see him coming up if the pens moved a goalie but I don’t see thaty happening, goalie market ain’t so hot right now.

  19. jrl2282 says:

    Yea Crosby the 2 goal wonder with 15 points as an 18 year old and living up to expectations to his fuillest potential almost already. He’s not playing with Palffy or Lemieux, he plays with Recchi and Malone. Ovechkin plays with Zubrus, who is very good and cassels who is decent enough. I figure theyre given the same opportunity to thrive in the league. Although Washington doenst have all of the talent in the world, they do have enough.

    As for the 2 goal wonder. Wait what’s his name Petr Forsb-what? O I guess he isn’t any good either since he has 2 goals and 17 assists.

  20. lagsetsfire says:

    the 3 on 5 shorthanded shows richards has a habit of putting himself where the puck is. he wont win roty (for the same reason defensive defensemen don’t win the norris–they do have the huge numbers) but if passes broken up/intercepted where a bigger stat he be in the mix. the most noticable hole in his game is face-offs; he centers the line but handzus (on rw now) take the face-offs; ironically that was suppose to be one of his best skills.

    carter is getting better and better. finally got a point, then a goal, and another. hell easily dodge the label of bust or let down this year, but not high in rookies stats.

    eric staals game scares me. should take a poll on most improved player because of the year off.

  21. WestcoastbiasJason says:

    Jason LaBarbera, Jason LaBarbera, Jason LaBarbera…need I say more? 7 W 1L, Tied for lead in NHL for GAA. Need I say more?

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