Friday, October 4, 2013

2013-14 NHL Rookies To Watch

By definition, a rookie in the NHL is:
A player not having played in more than 25 NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie.
We love following rookies and most of the players to watch this season have been household names for a few years now so we're pretty excited to see them playing in the show. We've watched them dominate the World Juniors and crack their NHL teams with strong preseasons, so now it's time these young studs are put to the test in the big leagues. There will be plenty of Calder talk surrounding these kids so get to know them now to stay in the loop.

With that in mind, let's look at some of the rookies to keep an eye on this season:

Seth Jones

Nashville Predators, 4th overall, 2013 NHL Entry Draft
When an 18-year-old kid gets invited to his country's Olympic camp you know he has some skills. Jones will start the season getting top 4 minutes with the Predators and unless he looks out of place he should play plenty for the Preds this season. If Jones impresses and ends up playing full-time with Shea Weber then the ceiling for his rookie season could be pretty high.

Tomas Hertl

San Jose Sharks, 17th overall, 2012 NHL Entry Draft
You might have seen Hertl getting drafted in your fantasy hockey leagues and wondered who the hell is this guy? After playing most of the preseason with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns on the top line it looks like Hertl will get a great opportunity to stay on that line as the season begins. Who knows if he will stick on the top line, but if he does look for him to have a pretty solid breakout year playing with Jumbo Joe.

Sven Baertschi

Calgary Flames, 13th overall, 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Yes, Baertschi is still considered a rookie after playing 20 games last year and 5 games the season before. I have always been a fan of Baertschi going back to his junior days with the Portland Winterhawks and he showed some promise last year putting up 10 points in 20 games. There has been some concerns with his lack of commitment, but the talent is there and if he can get it all together he could be a special player for the Flames.

Torey Krug

Boston Bruins, Free agent signing
The pint-sized Krug brings the offence from the backend and impressed with 45 points in 63 games last year in the AHL with the Providence Bruins. That earned him a call-up in the playoffs where he was able to put up 6 points in 15 games with the big club. Krug is going to need to show he can play well in his own zone and not just become the next Marc-Andre Bergeron - the NHL's booty call.

Nathan Mackinnon

Colorado Avalanche, 1st overall, 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Anytime you are taken 1st overall you will go into your first season being a favourite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy. Colorado has done a great job so far with Mackinnon giving him time to grow on the 3rd line and not having the pressure to put up points right away.

Valeri Nichushkin

Dallas Stars, 10th overall, 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Nichushkin could have been a top 5 pick if he was born in Thunder Bay, but the Russian factor had him slide a bit in the draft and the Stars got a steal with him at the 10th pick. At 6'4", Nichushkin is a blend of power and speed who could develop into Evgeni Malkin 2.0 one day. The young Ruskie is currently playing with veterans Vernon Fiddler and Shawn Horcoff and while he may not light it up with them, he'll definitely learn a lot from them.

Boone Jenner

Columbus Blue Jackets, 37th pick, 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Jenner has a kick ass first name and can also play a great two-way game that has earned him a shot to start on the first line this year with Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik. Once Nathan Horton returns from injury who knows where Jenner will fall in the depth charts, but he has a great chance to prove what he can do to start this season.

Aleksander Barkov

Florida Panthers, 2nd overall, 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Barkov is a talented centre who at 6'3" moves very well and has the potential to become an elite player in a few years. Last year playing against men in the SM-liiga as a 17-year-old he was able to put up 48 points in 53 games. This kid's going to be good and recently became the youngest player to score in the NHL during the modern era at the age of 18 years, 31 days:


  1. Some guy drafted Barkov in the 5th round of my draft. Everyone laughed at him, but he might prove us all wrong.



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