Top Rookies in the West – DobberHockey


Some of the roster names might go unrecognizable in a few of last week’s games, as teams were forced to scramble and sign a few AHL players in deals with the NHL for allow them to play. I’m sure this has taken its toll on most of the fantastic pools.

This week I’m going to take a look at some of the best rookies in the West and see where I had them among my top 20 picks going into the season.

The 19-year-old Lucas raymond in Detroit leads the NHL in rookies after 31 games and has 10 goals and 18 assists so far. I made a mistake in my predictions for the rookies and got only an honorable mention for him because I thought he might need a year or two in the NHL to reach the level to which it is. I was as wrong as can be.

The next recruit in scoring is Trevor Zegras in Anaheim. He was probably the consensus pick for top rookie and was my number one pick as well. He got off to a slow start but improved his game and now has eight goals and 17 assists after 30 games. He is in the game for 22 goals and 68 points. I still think he’ll get ahead of Raymond and win the Calder, but the race should be close.

Jamie Drysdale is also in Anaheim and I had him as the 17th rookie overall in preseason. I thought he would be a bit more sheltered than he was and after struggling in his first eight games, Drysdale resumed his defensive play. I had retained him for 25-35 points and he is in the rhythm for 36 after his first 32 games. His even-matched output was better than I expected but his power play output was not as big as I expected with Kevin Shattenkirk playing ahead of him. Drysdale could have a very good second half of the season and climb to over 40 points.

I recognized Tanner Jeannot last season as a multi-category threat, but I didn’t think he would be among the best rookies in points. After 30 games, he has eight goals, nine assists and 92 hits. He’s on pace for 22 goals, 24 assists and 251 hits. Not a bad rookie year.

Karel Vejmelka was my 9th pick on my rookie list. I thought he would have the opportunity to play between 35 and 50 games and get 12 to 20 wins. I should have taken more into account how bad the Arizona Coyotes were going to be. Vejmelka has played 16 of 29 games so far, giving him the pace for 46 games. Unfortunately, he only has two wins which jeopardizes the goal of 12 wins. He’s been average, which has been better than any goalie in Arizona this year.

Dan Vladar in Calgary have only played seven games this year, but shone with five wins, a 92.8 save percentage and a 3.22 GPA. If Jakob Markstrom gets tired or injured, there is a great opportunity for Vladar this year.

Alex newhook was fortunate enough to play this year in Colorado and has done well in 18 games with six goals and 10 points. I had placed him 14th on my preseason list and thought he could get anywhere from 30-40 points but would struggle to get more than 12-14 minutes a night. So far this season he’s averaged 13:45 a night and having missed nine games he’s prorated at around 39 points.

Bowen Byram has nine points in 13 games and looked good to do it. He was on my list of honorable mentions because I didn’t yet think the opportunity would present itself this season in Colorado. If he hadn’t been injured there was a chance he would be one of the top rookies this year, so I was wrong. I still think the Avalanche will be looking to move Samuel Girard at some point to make room for Byram.

With Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen ahead of him in Edmonton, it took an injury for Smith and Koskinen’s below-par goalies to give Stuart skinner a net chance for the Oilers. He has four wins in 10 games while posting a 91.6 save percentage and a GSAA of 1.31. If Smith returns to good health, Skinner could be back in the AHL, but his game has proven he belongs in the NHL.

I’ve had Arthur kaliev of the Los Angeles Kings at number 10 in my preseason picks. I knew he was a risky choice and he teased this season with a few examples of his excellent shot and release. I thought his cap this year might be 15-20 goals and 35-40 points. I was a little optimistic because he has six goals and nine points in 63 shots on goal with an average of 12:23 per night in 29 games. This allows him to score 17 goals and 25 points.

With Cam Talbot’s injury history, I thought Kaapo Kahkonen could take 30 starts and get 18 wins this year. So far, because his game has been slightly below par and Talbot has been good, Kahkonen has only managed seven games with four wins. Kahkonen was No.12 on my preseason list and for the sake of the Minnesota Wild and Talbot’s health, I don’t think the team wants him to play more than 60 games this year. Kahkonen should see more starts in the second half.

Alexandre carrier was another Predator not on my rookie radar, but he’s been very good after 27 games with two goals, 12 points and one over 11. His current pace is commensurate with six goals and 30 assists, which is a pretty respectable year. for a defender who plays on average just over 20 minutes per game.

Jonathan dahlen took advantage of Timo Meier’s play this year and has eight goals and 14 points after his first 26 NHL games. He has slowed down with just two goals and six points in his last 15 games. I had placed him 14th on my rookie list and thought he could score 15-20 goals and 35-40 points. He’s in the game for 24 goals and 18 assists.

I’ve had Guillaume Eklund on my preseason list at # 3, but I should have listened to myself when I said he could be the Calder Trophy winner or be back in the SHL after seven games. I was almost right since he was back in the SHL after nine games. He will be back next season as a leader once again.

Scott Perunovich in St. Louis was not in my top 20 because I didn’t see a path through the lineup for significant minutes. I was right initially as Perunovich was sent to the AHL, where he completely ripped him apart with 20 points in 12 games and was called up by the Blues. In 15 games, he has five assists averaging 16:01 ice time and 43.8% power play time. He’s close to getting a full-time NHL job, but he needs to bring things to his game that help the team when he’s not racking up points. Until he does, he won’t come in 17-20 minutes a night.

I squeaked Vasily Podkolzin in Vancouver on my top 20 list at # 20. I knew his offense would be limited in his debut season and that would hold his production at around 10-15 goals and 25-30 points. He showed flashes of real talent with the puck and has a heavy shot with a quick release. In the six games since Bruce Boudreau was hired, he has scored a goal and an assist is a plus five and averages just over 15 minutes per game with a regular spot on the second unit of the power play. In 29 games, he registered six goals, two assists and 42 SOGs, which represents 17 goals and 23 points.

I’ve had Perfect school in Winnipeg at number 15 on my list and after two games he was sent to the AHL where he has 15 points in 17 games. Looking back, I think the team are preparing Perfetti for Paul Stastny for next season and want him to develop in the minors where he will see a lot of ice time and important minutes. They want him to be in the top six.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you want me to focus on any players or topics by messaging me below or following me on Twitter @ gambler15.


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