Back on the 30th of November was the first look at where the NHL rookies stood. We also looked at how they compared to the one hundred million dollar man.
Leading the pack for forwards were Logan Coture of the San Jose Sharks, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers. Tops in the crease were a pair of young Europeans, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Philadelphia Flyers, and backstopping the Washington Capitals Michael Neuvirth. Rounding out the conversation were blueliners John Carlson, another young gun for Washington, the mouth of Montreal PK Subban, and flying high enough to earn lots of minutes for the Avalanche, Kevin Shattenkirk.
Ilya Kovalchuk’s current stats are 8-10-18 -21.
Just moving up to the pack are Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle of Edmonton, and Brian Bickell, of the injury plagued BlackHawks. Eberle and Hall sit in third and fourth behind Coture and Skinner. Right now, of the four only Coture has a positive +/- rating. While Hall was the clear cut favorite before the season started, learning the game at the NHL level is not quite as easy as it sounds, even if you’re lucky enough to have an elite vetern player or two on your squad as Coture and Skinner do, and Hall and Eberle do not.
On the blueline, John Carlson continues to make a name for himself on the recently woeful Washington Capitals. Racking up seventy blocked shots and thirty-two hits, would earn him a spot on just about any blueline, add in his TOI which hovers just under 22 minutes a game, and you’re making waves. He’s also tenth in rookie scoring. Cam Fowler was another of the last drafts crop of potential Calder winners, currently he leads all rookies in TOI, and is number eight for rookie scoring. With a -6 to Carlson’s +6, you might be tempted to simply focus in on a quick look at the quality of the two teams might say more. Kevin Shattenkirk has only played 22 games this season for the high flying Avalanche, and is still tied for fourth in points, everyone ahead of him has played at least 31.
Blissfully, the picture in goal has gotten murkier. Bobrovsky has gotten shuffled to the bench as Boucher has his yearly hot streak, but remains high in the rankings for goalies in major stats. New to the dance is Anders Lindback Nashvilles other goalie. Pekka Rinne is due back soon, but I can’t help but wonder if it might the coaches might want to let Rinne take his time coming back, like a month or two more. Today, Lindback leads all rookie goaltenders in GAA, Sv%, and shutouts. Lindback is also comfortably ahead of Rinne in those stats, with a similar number of games.
Once darkhorse worth mentioning is Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand. While some will only remember him for getting smoked on a clean PK Subban hit, he has been a big part of a very effective penalty kill. Marchand is also first in rookie shorthanded goals and tied for the NHL lead among all players in the least games in the same category. He’s second among forwards in SHTOI, and sits 15th in among rookies in scoring, and seventh in hits for rookies.