Rossy’s Prospect Ramblings + Top 10 Rookies





Thursday, January 17th


As we get set for the 2012-2013 NHL Season to begin (finally), I wanted to touch base on a few prospects turning my head before the hockey world eventually turns their head on the minor and junior leagues (shame on you if you are guilty of this lol).


Here are ten rookies I feel could have the biggest impact (if they make their squads) in the 2012-2013 NHL season:


    1. Alex Galchenyuk (MTL) – Yep, I have him ahead of Yakupov, Granlund, Tarasenko, Schultz and Huberdeau. Why? Galchenyuk is oozing confidence and his size, skill and determination will set him above. Sure, it is a bold prediction, but if anyone has proved people wrong before it is Alex Galchenyuk. It will be a top-six and second PP role for Galchenyuk or back to junior, so he will make noise if he stays. Furthermore, Galchenyuk has been rumoured to be slated to skate with Plekanecs on the second line and will draw defensive assignments as a result. As Landeskog did in 2011, Glachenyuk could have a similar (to a lesser extent) impact at both ends of the rink.


    Prediction: 45 GP- 14G – 20A – 34P or 6GP-2G-2A-4P





    2. Justin Schultz (EDM) – He is going to get every opportunity to play ‘his’ game and after a ridiculous start to his AHL career, Edmonton is going to ride his hot hand. Schultz has zero competition for his role in Edmonton which gives him a loooooong leash.


    Prediction:  48GP-9G-23A-32P



    3. Mikael Granlund (MIN) – The most anticipated prospect to arrive in North America in several years will step right into a top-six role on an improved Minnesota Wild team. Granlund will skate on the second line with seasoned veterans and will not have to face top opposing defenders that he would on the first line.


    Prediction: 46GP-13G-21A-34P



    4. Sven Baertschi (CGY) – My sleeper pick is Sven Bartschi.  The young Swiss forward owns that “it” factor and there is plenty of opportunity in Calgary for offensive ice time.  Bartschi is not the sexiest name here but he proved last year in a short stint that he can be a trusted and effective player.


    Prediction: 47GP-15G-18A-33P



    5. Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) – Huberdeau’s time has arrived to make the jump to the NHL and if he can find some immediate chemistry then he jumps way up this list. The Panthers’ overall team depth may limited his offensive opportunities in his rookie season though.


    Prediction: 27GP-14G-18A-32P



    6. Jakob Silfverberg (OTT) – The new Sens’ arrival already has professional experience and his tremendous SEL resume speaks to itself.


    Prediction: 45GP-11G-16A-27P



    7. Nail Yakupov (EDM) – I am hesitant to place Yakupov too high on this list simply based on what I have observed over the past few years. If Yakupov finds chemistry with Hemsky and Gagner then he will transition nicely to the NHL. However, it appears that Yakupov has battled internally whether or not he should lean towards being a sniper or a playmaker. Of course, ideally Yakupov would fill both roles but he is at his best when he is “the man” and with him playing on a deep Oilers’ roster I have a feeling that he struggles to find his way in his rookie season. Then again, I could be wrong.


    Prediction: 41GP-12G-13A-25P



    8. Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) – Another anticipated arrival, Tarasenko will also walk into a scoring opportunity but on the Blues’ deep roster he will have to earn every minute. Tarasenko could go through an adjustment period as he starts his North American hockey debut. He is a player that will either “get it” right away or take his time to stardom.  As with most Blues’ prospect, I expect him to take the latter route.


    Prediction: 48GP-15G-13A-28P



    9. Gustav Nyquist (DET) – Slated to start the season in the top-six with potential linemate Pavel Datsyuk instantly makes Nyquist a legit Calder threat.


    Prediction: 48GP-12G-14A-26P


    10. Beau Bennett (PIT) – Auditioning to play with Evgeny Malkin is a nice way to enter the NHL and if Bennett wins the job then he will produce simply through osmosis.


    Prediction: 44GP-10G-