Hockeyland Canada will rank the top 10 NHL rookies each month of the 2013-2014 Regular Season by ranking them according to overall impact on their teams, and ultimately their chances to win the Calder trophy as the league’s best rookie.
(1) Tomas Hertl – Certainly this Czech rookie has grabbed the most headlines in this early season after his 4 goal effort against the Rangers. Leading rookies in both goals and points, he has cooled off of late but is the front runner early.
(2) Sean Monahan – Informed that he will stay with the Flames past the 9 game mark, Sean Monahan doesn’t have to worry about being sent down to Junior and can continue being the best pivot in Calgary. His 6 goals and 10 points have him right there with Hertl.
(3) Seth Jones – A 19 year old D man playing nearly 25 minutes a game is unheard of, and Seth Jones is chipping in offensively too with 5 points in 12 games. If he continues eating up minutes for the Predators, you can expect voters to lean towards Jones for his unique ability to impact the play on both ends of the rink.
(4) Alexsander Barkov – Having played with grown men already as a teenager, Sasha Barkov is making the transition to the NHL look easy. In a prominent role for the lowly Florida Panthers, Barkov may have to generate even bigger waves than his 7 points if he wants to get noticed league wide.
(5) Alex Chiasson – A big body with a knack for finding the back of the net, Chiasson has taken a prominent role with the rebuilding Stars and has delivered with 5 goals, good enough for third among rookies.
(6) Nathan Mackinnon – Slowed down offensively since opening the year hot, Mackinnon is being brought along in a third line center role. His ice time has been limited at a nudge over 13 minutes, but his impact on the resurgent Colorado Avalanche will not go unnoticed by voters.
(7) Morgan Rielly – Clearly ready for NHL duty, Rielly has won a roster spot and has the Leafs looking to deal a D man to clear up the good problem to have logjam on the back end. As long as he plays, his offensive production should be there, thanks to his elite skating ability, but expect growing pains in keeping the puck out of the net.
(8) Hampus Lindholm – Lindholm has brought a much needed defensively sound game to the Ducks as he leads all rookies with a +11 rating through 10 games. As the Ducks search for powerplay quarterback options, don’t be surprised if Hampus gets a prominent offensive role sooner rather than later.
(9) Torey Krug – Continuing his strong play from last year’s playoffs, Torey Krug is scoring goals again and should be involved in the action for the always strong Boston Bruins. Not as developed defensively as others, Krug will be near the top in scoring for rookie D men all year long.
(10) Radko Gudas – With a name that screams rugged blueliner, Radko Gudas already has more than 50 penalty minutes on the year and has chipped in with some offense as well. The Lightning are desperate for more from their defense, and Gudas’ role could continue to expand.
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