NHL Rookie Report – Carl De Lucia Hockey Blog
Patrik Laine – WPG – Tappara (Liiga)
Looks like he could be the next Ovechkin, which is about the highest compliment you can give a big, young forward. 6’5-205 with a rocket, looks unstoppable.
Mitch Marner – TOR – London (OHL)
Nobody question’s Marner’s skills, but size is a different story. Proving his game translates on any level.
Zach Werenski – CLM – Michigan (NCAA)
Werenski came into this year with a ton of hype and has lived up to it and more. This is the prototypical modern NHL defenseman.
William Nylander – TOR – MODO (SEL)
Like Marner, Nylander dominates at every level offensively.
Auston Matthews – TOR – Zurich (SWI)
This year’s #1 pick had 4 goals in the season opener and has offensive flair for days. There are no sure things when it comes to projecting elite NHL centers, but Matthews is it.
Jimmy Vesey – NYR – Harvard (NCAA)
The hottest NCAA free agent in years, despite being a Nashville draft choice, Vesey has found his groove in a great environment with the young and speedy Rangers.
Travis Konecny – PHI – Sarnia (OHL) – Philadelphia
Had Konecny played in London his level of hype would be Marner-like. The former #1 pick in the OHL draft is an offensive force, piles up assists.
Brady Skjei – NYR – Minnesota (NCAA)
The final defenseman named to the Ranger’s roster, Skjei is a bit of a surprise among the league’s top rookies. Former USNTDP and Minnesota standout is strong in own end too.
Sebastian Aho – CAR – Karpat (Liiga)
Had a point per game in Finland’s top league and is seeing plenty of time in a weak Hurricanes lineup. Undersized forward uses speed and elite passing ability wisely.
Matt Tkachuk – CAL – London Knights (OHL)
They questioned if Keith’s son would stick with the Flames as an 18 year old, not anymore. Like the rest of the forwards on this list, Tkachuck can flat out score at any level.
NCAA Alumni / NHL Rookies
(D) Zach Werenski – MICHIGAN
(F) Jimmy Vesey – HARVARD
(D) Brady Skjei – MINNESOTA
(F) Devin Shore – MAINE
(D) Michael Matheson – BOSTON COLLEGE
(F) Scott Wilson – MASSACHUSETTS-LOWELL
(F) Tyler Motte – MICHIGAN
(F) Nick Lappin – BROWN
(F) Austin Czarnik – MIAMI
(D) Derek Forbot – NORTH DAKOTA
(F) Zach Hyman – MICHIGAN
(D) Stephen Johns – NOTRE DAME
(F) Nick Schmaltz – NORTH DAKOTA
(F) Kyle Connor – MICHIGAN
(F) Kyle Rau – MINNESOTA
(F) Vinnie Hinostroza – NOTRE DAME
(F) Jake Guentzel – NEBRASKA-OMAHA
(F) Daniel Carr – UNION
(F) Noel Acciari – PROVIDENCE
(F) Drake Caggiula – NORTH DAKOTA
(F) Garnet Hathaway – BROWN
(F) Zach Sanford – BOSTON COLLEGE
(F) Danton Heinen – DENVER
(F) Hudson Fasching – MINNESOTA
(F) Sean Kuraly – MIAMI
(D) Rob O’Gara – YALE
(F) Blake Pietila – MICHIGAN TECH
(F) Evan Rodriques – BOSTON UNIVERSITY
(F) Miles Wood – BOSTON COLLEGE
(F) Christoval Nieves – MICHIGAN
(F) Michael Zalewski – RPI
(D) Scott Mayfield – DENVER
(F) Danny O’Regan – BOSTON UNIVERSITY