The 2017-2018 season of the National Hockey League (NHL) is well under way with Tampa Bay Lightning leading the charts with an incredible 15-3 standing in the Atlantic Division. While the season is still fairly in the early stages and the Stanley Cup finals are still in the air, one major point of discussion is this season’s Rookie class and their ability to strikes for not only their team, but their overall reputation within the league.
When the initial thought of the rookie class comes to mind, people immediately think of the top two picks in the NHL draft dating back to late June: Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick. Hischier was drafted as the first pick, landing him a spot on the New Jersey Devils while Patrick was second pick for the Philadelphia Flyers.
So far, Patrick hasn’t had much time on the ice due to an upper-body injury that left him out of a few games this season. With the Flyers currently in last standing for the Metropolitan Division with 8 wins and 8 losses, this could be a major factor to their strategy of placing Patrick as a wing for more scoring depth. After missing a total of 9 games, Patrick returned back onto the lineup as the Flyers went against the Jets last Thursday.
While Patrick is still a rookie to watch, Hischier has showcased his tough personality during game time. This 18-year-old took a hooking penalty against the Devils which sent him straight to the penalty box within starting minutes of the game. He knew what he deserved and the team still values his talent. It’s not unlikely for rookies to come into a season and seeing the penalty box.
Although these two were the top picks in the draft that’s long passed, they’re not the only rookies to rank high value among the young, fresh talent on the ice.
Among the lineup this season, some “rookies to watch” may surprise you. Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller from the Arizona Coyotes are two must-watch rookies as they make their way into the rosters this season. While they’re young, they’re bound to make an impact on this year’s season.
Dylan Strome is a fresh name in the NHL but this 20 year old comes with impressive stats. Clayton Keller is a mere 19 year old listed to play center on Yahoo but most likely will have some of the pressure and responsibility taken off of him in left-wing or right-wing positions.
When considering this season’s young talent, the rookies in line for the Calder Trophy are definitely Hischier, Patrick and a few more. Charlie McAvoy, Mikhail Sergachev, and Brock Boeser are also in the running.
As the 2017-18 NHL season continues, you can bet that these top rookies have eyes on them each game they play.