Prospect Ramblings – Will the rookies slow down? (Feb 12 2017)

Hayden Soboleski


Comparing current rookie to historical trends in this Sunday Ramblings…



Full disclosue – I'm writing this a bit prematurely. For fellow readers enjoying the long weekend here in BC – enjoy some relaxation with me in spirit. For everyone else – I apologize for the slightly out-of-date numbers you're about to read. 


Every year we seem to hear the same stories – there are top rookies drafted, some are hot out of the gate, and some keep this up longer than others. Rarely do we see many season-long strong NHL performances, and when we do it is usually from the Calder winner. The NHL schedule is tough. The NHL is tough, period. So training mentally and physically to last an entire campaign is alot to ask of a rookie. Yet this year, about 65% of the way through the season, a number of players are doing just that. Is this sustainable? Is this normal? Or is this truly a year of outstanding rookies in terms of legitimate longevity?


Below is a table of several notable rookies from the last few years, with their totals broken down into quarterly segments. Let's take a look at how these kids compare:

Points per game
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar
Matthews 1.11 0.57 1.00 0.69 1.25 ?
Marner 0.67 0.93 0.58 1.15 1.25 ?
Laine 0.89 0.69 0.86 1.67 0.67 ?
Nylander 1.22 0.38 0.67 0.54 1.00 ?
Panarin (2016) 0.91 1.00 0.73 0.86 1.22 0.54
Eichel (2016) 0.36 0.62 0.79 0.92 0.54 0.71
Stone (2015) 0.50 0.43 0.58 0.92 0.92 0.94
Gaudreau (2015) 0.54 0.85 0.93 0.63 0.58 1.07
Forsberg (2015) 1.10 1.15 0.92 0.58 0.67 0.47
MacKinnon (2014) 0.63 0.64 0.57 0.93 1.43 0.64


So what do we see here?

– On average, the top rookies this year came out of the gate faster than those in previous years, boosting their stats right away

– Most players of the previous years had a peak month far better than their average. This is also true of this year's batch

– Scoring at a point-per-game pace for more than one month is a rare feat. Only Panarin and Forsberg managed it out of the old names, and Matthews has done it already. If their February pace holds, Marner and Nylander will join that list as well while Matthews would reach the mark for an incredible third time.

– Players dont necessarily slow down. Forsberg certainly did, and Eichel slipped as well after peaking in January, but Stone and Gaudreau managed strong Marchs.

– The best performing players of past years seem to be wingers (Panarin, Stone, Gaudreau). Is this a coincidence? Mackinnon and Eichel each had a couple poor months, could it be that tough schedule areas weigh heavier on centermen bearing the load?


There aren't any real hard conclusions to draw here, other than that this really is an incredibly strong rookie class so far, and that based on performances by other stars, they dont have to slow down. This is predominantly just an interesting reference I hope to compare the players we are currently drooling over to the ones we coulnd't stop talking about last season (and the one before…and before…). 



As always, let's wrap things up with first NHL goals. Short list this week as the season is winding down and most playesr who are going to get their chance already have. Nevertheless, these guys have earned their first goals – better late than never.


Brandon Montour is living up to the hype so far since being called up:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ICYMI: <a href="">@brandon_montour</a> puts a ? past Ben Bishop for the first <a href="">@NHL</a> goal! <a href="">#NHLFirsts</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) <a href="">February 5, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Seth Helgeson puts one through traffic:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Congrats to Seth Helgeson who scored his first career NHL goal last night in the <a href="">@mmschocolate</a> Moment of the Game! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) <a href="">February 5, 2017</a></blockquote>
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There's a scramble but it counts for Nick Jensen:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nick Jensen nets his first career goal in tonight's <a href="">@Bridgestone</a> Performance Moment of the Game. <a href="">#LGRW</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) <a href="">February 1, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Thank you for reading and best of luck in your fantasy leagues of all sorts!

Hayden Soboleski







Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0
Miko Matikka 6.5 6.5
Nathan Smith 6.2 6.0
Jan Jenik 7.2 6.5
Ilya Fedotov 6.0 3.0
Noel Nordh 6.5 7.0
Daniil But 8.5 7.5
Julian Lutz 7.0 7.5
Dylan Guenther 8.5 8.5
Conor Geekie 8.0 8.0