It's the second week in and already rookies are breaking records and capturing the hearts of America. That may sound dramatic but these are some important names to remember in hockey.
10/10 at Car: 2 G, +2, 3 SOG, 13:48 TOI
10/13 vs. NYR: -1, 2 SOG, 13:04 TOI
10/14 at Min: -1, 11:36 TOI
10/17 at Win: +1, 2 SOG, 14:59 TOI
Milano got off to a hot start last Tuesday with two goals and still leads all rookies at four goals in the six games he played. One of the goals on Tuesday included an OT winner and that was the end of Milano's 4 goal streak in three games, one of the best in the franchise.
10/11 at Tor: 1 A, +1, 1 SOG, 17:15 TOI
10/13 vs. Wash: 1 SOG, 16:07 TOI
10/14 at NYR: 17:22 TOI
10/17 vs. TB: 2 SOG, 11:18 TOI
Bratt is second among rookies in plus/minus at +5, second in points (6) and tied for second in goals (3). He is also the first Devils player to record five points in the first two games of his career (per @pr_nhl). Bratt is impressive as a left winger for the Devils and is the rookie making waves on their offense right now.
10/11 at Tor: 2 A, +2, 2 SOG, 16:18 TOI
10/13 vs. Wash: 1 A, 2 SOG, 19:02 TOI
10/14 at NYR: 2 A, +1, 14:49 TOI
10/17 vs. TB: 1 A, +1, 16:32 TOI
Butcher leads all rookies in points (9), plus/minus (+6) and assists (9). Butcher is the first rookie defenseman to record at least nine assists in his first six games (per @pr_nhl). He is a great help for the Devils on defense and is one of the players to watch there. New Jersey has a good thing going on right now, so pay attention now.
10/15 vs. Bos: W, 1 GA, 21 SV, .955 SV%
10/17 vs. Buff: W, 4 GA, 30 SV, .882 SV%
Subban leads all rookie goaltenders in wins (2), goals against average (2.42) and save percentage (.911). Subban came in clutch for Vegas after their great goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was placed on the IR for a concussion with his two wins. His first win was special because it came against the team that let him go and he got to earn his way back into the NHL with a team that needs him. Vegas has a great season already and Subban's success just adds even more to the sweet start.
It's back! The NHL season returned last week and so did the new class of rookies! Exciting new faces to watch and names to learn as we watch to see who will make the difference for their team. Here's to a good year and some fun!
McAvoy started his NHL career during the playoffs and impressed the Bruins with his longer logs on ice for a rookie fresh out of his college season. He did not disappoint in his first regular season game with his first NHL goal in Boston's win over Nashville. Expect to see great performances from Boston's rookies this year and McAvoy is one of the defensemen to watch.
Stats in two games-
10/5 vs. Nash: 1 G, 1 A, +1, 22:00
10/9 vs. Col: -2, 19:28
Keller is Arizona's newest rookie sensation and is the one to watch for American hockey fans. He spent most of last year playing on Boston University and won a roster spot this season with hopes of starring on Arizona's offense. Keller got the first goal out of the way in his first game and hopes to do more for Arizona.
Stats in two games-
10/5 at Ana: 1 G, -1, 19:44, 3 SOG
10/7 vs. VGK: 22:36, 6 SOG
Remember the 2016 Draft where Matthews went No. 1, Laine went No. 2, and then another player went No. 3? Well, Dubois was that guy and he's already having a good start to the year for Columbus after scoring his first NHL goal in his debut game. Dubois will be great for Columbus as a physical threat on offense.
Stats in two games-
10/6 vs. NYI: 1 G, +1, 3 SOG
10/7 at Chi: 15:13, 1 SOG
Frk almost went back to play in Europe instead of the NHL after being a restricted free agent this summer and not being sure about making it on Detroit's roster. Detroit is sure happy to have Frk there for his two goals in two games. They also will be happy to have his hard shot on their team to intimidate opposing teams' defense.
Stats in two games-
10/5 vs. Min: 1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, 10:38
10/7 at Ott: 1 G, +1, 3 SOG, 11:57
Vrana adds another spark to the great offense in Washington with three points in three games. He's able to create more opportunities for them and use his great speed to move things along for a game that requires great speed.
Stats in three games-
10/5 at Ott: 2 A, +3, 5 SOG, 17:16
10/7 vs. Mtl: 1 A, +1, 1 SOG, 15:15
10/9 at TB: -2, 12:02
Excited for this season and this new class!
The summer is officially over and it's the most wonderful time of the year! Hockey is back and there are so many great games going on that you can spend a good amount of your day watching them (I don't recommend that but if you have NHL TV, get your money's worth!).
Here's today's schedule and the top games to watch:
Recommended Game for Afternoon-
Toronto at Winnipeg: As a big fan of last year's rookie class, the thought of Matthews vs. Laine on Night One is just match made in hockey heaven. Both had great debuts last year and it will be exciting to see what they do in their sophomore seasons. Toronto had a great season and they will definitely try to go further this year. They have Patrick Marleau for veteran leadership and that could help. Winnipeg will want to do better in the beginning after having a strong finish in the regular season. A playoff spot would definitely make them happy.
Recommended Game for Evening-
Calgary at Edmonton: Mike Smith begins his time with the Flames, a team that could use a solid goaltender after not having one in the playoffs. He will face a big test in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and company after looking dominant in the playoffs. The Oilers will just continue to get better each season as their offense matures and becomes even more skilled and stronger. The Flames are a decent team in making the playoffs last year and they could put up a good fight in the Battle of Alberta.
Hischier is the first Swiss player to go Number 1 overall in the NHL Draft. He was also the first draft pick to wear the new jersey, but that is not as big as what he did for Switzerland last night.
If you need a recap of last night, here you go! Looks like the Golden Knights did well in the trades with their three picks.
The fun day has come for us to see where our top prospects are going and who may be our new favorite rookie!
As great as our rookie class from 2016 was, we have to greet these new rookies warmly and give them support as well. I will always miss the rookies from the past season but I can still watch them as they grow into superstars in the NHL.
With all that being said, I wanted to evaluate the top prospects by going through the projected lists and seeing how they rank against each other by using their junior stats to find their z-scores.
This does not mean that one is actually better than the other, since they play in different junior leagues, because numbers should not be our only basis on their talent. Enjoy the lists and good luck to your team on this exciting day!
Agree with your team's probable selection? Look below to see how the top 31 rank in goals!
Here are the numbers for goals for our top 31 prospects from nhl.com*:
Mean number of goals- 25.2
Standard Deviation- 11.48
Nolan Patrick's z-score- -0.45
Nico Hischier's z-score- 1.11
Casey Mittelstadt's z-score- -0.36
Gabriel Vilardi's z-score- 0.33
Michael Rasmussen's z-score- 0.59
Cody Glass's z-score- 0.59
Owen Tippett's z-score- 1.64
Eeli Tolvanen's z-score- 0.42
Cale Makar's z-score- -0.1
Nick Suzuki's z-score- 1.72
Juuso Valimaki's z-score- -0.54
Callan Foote's z-score- -1.67
Ryan Poehling's z-score- -1.59
Jason Robertson's z-score- 1.46
Isaac Ratcliffe's z-score- 0.24
Shane Bowers's z-score- -0.28
Kailer Yamamoto's z-score- 1.46
Conor Timmins's z-score- -1.59
Henri Jokiharju's z-score- -1.41
Nicolas Hague's z-score- -0.63
Jaret Anderson's z-score- 1.20
Robert Thomas's z-score- -0.80
Kole Lind's z-score- 0.42
Grant Mismash's z-score- 0.07
Nick Henry's z-score- 0.85
Aleksi Heponiemi's z-score- 0.24
Pierre-Olivier Joseph's z-score- -1.67
Nikita Popugaev's z-score- 0.33
Alex Formenton's z-score- -0.80
Maxime Comtois's z-score- -0.28
Morgan Frost's z-score- -0.45
Highest z-score is Nick Suzuki with 45 goals this season!
*Keep in mind that some players were injured for some time this season or they played in a different league that may have tougher competition. They also could be a defenceman which would give them a smaller ot negative z-score.
Z-score measures how far away someone is from the mean, thus separating them from the crowd and helping them stand out.
The day of reckoning has arrived and your favorite players may be at risk tonight to be taken away to Sin City. If the whole thing still boggles you, that's okay because this has not happened in 17 years.
Here's a quick rundown of what to expect for tonight:
Vegas will select 30 players from each team.
They must select 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders.
At least 20 players have to be under contract for this upcoming season.
They must select players with the salary cap in mind.
They cannot buy out contracts if they are new.
Who's already on the Vegas Golden Knights?
Reid Duke (his name is confusing, but that's the one!)
Vadim Shipachyov (surprisingly not as confusing as the first guy)
Head Coach: Gerard Gallant (former Florida Panthers head coach)
Make sure to check out my predictions for the awards for tonight in my previous post!
The last night where we can officially celebrate everything that happened in the 2016-17 season is nearly here and so are my predictions for the biggest awards to be handed out that night.
Some of these may have more clear winners than others, especially categories that were discussed here more frequently than others, while others are tougher to decipher. Thankfully, we do not have to make the decisions ourselves (yet!).
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year)
My Pick: Mike Babcock, Toronto
Why: Babcock gets my pick because in his second year with the team, he took them to the playoffs. Tortorella did that too but here's the difference: Babcock's team was the Maple Leafs. The Leafs are a running joke in the NHL (I don't think they are a joke, but others do) and the Blue Jackets need more decades to even get to their level of ridicule.
This season, excitement and hope came back to Toronto and it was not for baseball and basketball this time. Now one man could not have made that all possible but he had a big hand in helping his players perform to their potential and beyond.
His team went from winning only 29 games to only losing 27 games. It definitely helped to get the highest draft pick but it also helped that the talent was not wasted due to his great direction.
Also, other great prospects were able to become young stars for this team with his guidance and the climate that he created with his veteran players.
My Pick: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus
Why: I picked Bobrovsky over Holtby due to the fact that he's also nominated for the Hart Trophy. Being considered as one of the best players in the entire league, regardless of position, is a good indicator on why he's special.
Bobrovsky barely edged out Holtby for better numbers in Goals Against Average (2.06) and Save Percentage (0.931). He also had a great December where he went 12-0 and had a GAA of 1.75 with a SV % of 0.939. That run shocked the hockey world and made them realize that Columbus had changed for the better. It also once again reminded us how great their goalie really is.
My Pick: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
Why: Here's what Karlsson has over the other two: time on ice. His presence is definitely felt with his team because he's there almost the entire time. Karlsson's time on ice per game played is at 26:50, two minutes and one second more than Burns and two minutes and twenty seconds more than Hedman.
While he has the least amount of points between the two, 71 compared to 76 from Burns and 72 from Hedman, he beats them in other categories like penalty minutes and shifts per game.
Karlsson is such a disciplined player that he has only 28 penalty minutes while the other two have 40 and 47. With all that wasted time in the box, the team could be put in a bad situation that could lose the game for them and that is why that is important.
Also, he averages 31.5 shifts per game and those shifts are all important in doing what is best for his team and that is simply being out there on the ice. His +10 and 54 assists can definitely back that up as well.
Ted Lindsay Award
My Pick: Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Why: It's his second year in the league and his first full season and he already gets 100 points. He is just getting started too since he's only 20 years old and his team around him is only getting better.
Being the youngest captain in history (100 years worth, too!) for a franchise like the Oilers is a huge deal and McDavid took that role and made it a great choice by the Oilers by taking them from having a last place finish last season to a second place finish and spot in the second round of the playoffs. A big reason why they would be last in their division for the past season was most likely because they lost McDavid for 37 games.
Hart Memorial Trophy
My Pick: Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Why: If you win the Ted Lindsay, what stops you from winning the Hart? McDavid deserves both awards after having 70 assists in one season. With those assists, his team would not have scored 70 goals and where would they be without those? Maybe back to last place like they were last year when they had limited time with McDavid.
His 30 goals are also a decent amount, especially since McDavid is more a team-oriented player who focuses on making those around him even better while doing great himself. He is needed on this team not only for his scoring abilities but for his abilities to connect with teammates and be the best player on the ice.
My Pick: Auston Matthews, Toronto
Why: From the moment that he made his debut with FOUR goals, Toronto knew that he was the one. The one to bring hope to a franchise searching for a star to guide them out of the dark. His debut led to even better things, like winning the Centennial Classic on an OT winner or breaking the record for rookie goals and points in Toronto's 100 year history or becoming the best U.S. born rookie goalscorer in history or helping his team reach the playoffs after finishing with the worst record in the NHL last season.
It could go on and on what Matthews has done for his team in one season but here's the deal: Matthews had some quiet moments in the season where he could not register a point but when he came back from those, he came back in a big way and always worked to reclaim his spot as the rookie leader in goals. His competition is tough for this one but somehow he looks like an obvious winner. Scoring 40 goals in your first season is no joke and he is going to be a star for team that needs him.
It's a lot of pressure to be the One to save Toronto but he dealt with the pressure just fine.
My Pick: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim
Why: Kesler is a player you would love on your team and hate against you (just ask Edmonton, Los Angeles, Nashville, etc...). His 146 hits blew his competition out of the water (or off the ice), as did his 75 blocks. He also beat them out with more time on ice for each game and that is great news for Anaheim.
His line was most likely the best and most effective line for the Ducks, with teammates Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano rebounding after last year. Silfverberg had a career-high 23 goals while Cogliano scored 7 more goals than the season before. Kesler contributed to their success by having 36 assists, the second most in his career.
Whenever Kesler was on the ice, he was feared because of his offensive power but also his ability to play defensively so well and intimidate others on the ice. His powerful presence in both aspects is what this award was made for.
Feel like there are too many awards that are named after people and you lost track of what they are actually for? I understand your problem, because there are 17 different awards, and am here to help! We will break down each award and who is nominated for what. Then, I will predict who the winners will be in a following post.
Hart Memorial Trophy
This is basically for the MVP of hockey.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
This one honours those who are great players ability-wise while balancing a small amount of penalty minutes and great sportsmanship.
This is for the best goaltender in the league.
Calder Memorial Trophy
The award for the best rookie player.
Art Ross Trophy
The player with the most points at the end of the regular season is awarded this trophy.
Winner: Connor McDavid
James Norris Memorial Trophy
The best all-around defenceman wins this award.
Conn Smythe Trophy
The best player in the playoffs wins this award.
Winner: Sidney Crosby
Bill Masterston Memorial Trophy
Given to a player who perseveres through challenges thrown in their way and remains dedicated to hockey.
Ted Lindsay Award
Pretty much the MVP again but given by the National Hockey League's Players Association (NHLPA).
Jack Adams Award
The best coach that year will win this award.
Mike Babcock, Toronto
Todd McLellan, Edmonton
John Tortorella, Columbus
Frank J. Selke Trophy
Given to the best defensive forward.
William M. Jennings Trophy
Awarded to the goaltender(s) that allowed the fewest goals scored against them in the regular season.
Winner: Braden Holtby
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Given to the player that not only has good sportsmanship on the ice but also makes charitable contributions to the community.
NHL Foundation Player Award
Awarded to one who uses his dedication to hockey to make their community better.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
Given to the top goal scorer after the regular season.
Winner: Sidney Crosby
Mark Messier Leadership Award
An award for a player that has the best leadership qualities on and off the ice.
NHL General Manager of the Year
Celebrates the best general manger for that season.
Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton
Pierre Dorion, Ottawa
David Poile, Nashville
Just because the season is over does not mean that the offseason will be quiet. This year will especially be busy with the expansion draft and reveal of the new jerseys for every team. Here's what you need to put down for your calendars:
June 17 (TOMORROW)- Lists of protected players will be sent out by 2 pm PT.
Sunday, June 18- Protected lists are released.
Wednesday, June 21- NHL Awards at 8 pm ET (NBCSN, Sportsnet)
Wednesday, June 21- Expansion Draft during Awards Show.
Thursday, June 22- Trade Resumes by 8 am ET.
Friday, June 23- First Round of NHL Draft at 6 pm ET (NBCSN, Sportsnet).
Saturday, June 24- Rounds 2-7 of NHL Draft at 9 am ET.
Final Score of the Season:
Thoughts: It's always sad to say goodbye to hockey because it's a sport that I really anticipate and get so excited for during the offseason. I feel that sometimes I forget to cherish it enough when it finally does come around but then I get so focused during the season that I forget about other sports. I am sad that hockey had to end yesterday but at least it ended in a good way (sorry, Nashville fans).
It ended in a good way for both teams in how Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both created a great era for their franchise and won their third with the team. We rarely see back-to-back wins in the modern era and only the best can do that. Also, Crosby was not the main star of the team because he had a great offense alongside him that stepped up at the right times. I cannot emphasize enough at how great it was to see rookie Jake Guentzel dominate in the playoffs. He went from being only a name that true Penguins fans would know to a household name that Jimmy Fallon even talked about (he did mispronounce the name, but he thought of him!). Guentzel did not break the record for rookie points in the playoffs but he tied it and will always be there for that. The team approach to the Cup from Pittsburgh was amazing to watch and it made them winning it all that much better.
Now, Nashville did a great job with everything that happened to them. They lost their best forward and a good amount of their goals but their amazing defensemen stepped it up and became even better at both areas. Pekka Rinne is still an elite goaltender and just had some rough games, but hey, he's elite not perfect. Not only did they play even better than they were predicted to but their fans became one of the most loudest in the NHL. The support that the entire city had for them was unreal and it is hard to match. The passion and love for their team proved how powerful hockey can be received in a 'non-hockey' market like the South. The road was not easy for them to stay in Nashville over the years, but it sure paid off this season.
Relive Pittsburgh's amazing victory through photos!
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!