image courtesy of The News & Observer
ITS FIRST GOALS TIME BABY!
If you’ve read my ramblings over the years, you’ll know that one of my favorite parts of following prospects is seeing them score their first ever goals at the highest level. They might not all look like much, but they’re what these kids have been working their whole lives for, and for some of them this will be first of many. A few weeks into the season, we’ve been lucky enough to see some unbelievable first goals, which can amp up the hype we already had, or breathe fantasy life into someone we never saw coming. Either way, let’s just sit back and enjoy while a new wave of scorers step into the big leagues. Apologies for being late to the show for many of these, but its always more fun to watch highlights in bunches and I’m all about giving the people what they want!
Rasmus Dahlin will be a mainstay on the point in Buffalo for a long time. So of course, his first goal is a dirty poke-in in the middle of a crowded crease, following his teammates off the rush. It wasn’t what we expected, but fantasy owners let out a sigh of relief as the damn burst:
Elias Pettersson went ahead and poured gasoline in the fantasy fire he had already forged when he started the season off with this beauty. We now know that he’s lit up the scoresheet many more times, and will continue to do so once he’ recovers from his concussion:
Kailer Yamamoto didn’t have much time to decide what he would do with his semi-breakaway, but he still turned it into a beauty for his first with the Oilers:
Andrei Svechnikov didn’t just score his own first NHL goal when he tipped this one home – he also scored the first ever goal by a player born in the year 2000. Damn I feel old.
Brady Tkachuk is about as competitive as they come, and decided to beat his brother and father by scoring the fastest first goal of all three. It’s not pretty, but even on the powerplay its hard to stand in front of the net long enough to get a good bounce:
Maxime Lajoie is the reason I included the “someone we never saw coming” line up at the top of the article. If you watched his 1-goal season in the AHL last year and picked him up in your fantasy league before he took off, please give me the number of your psychic.
Martin Necas gets his full weight into this one and the follow-through gets me every time. What a beauty from someone we expect to see much more from as the season progresses.
Max Comtois scores on the first shift of his first game in memorable fashion – nothing beats scoring on a pinpoint shot off the rush to prove to the coach and yourself that you’re NHL-ready:
Juuso Valimaki unleashed a seeing-eye shot for his first, after fighting of some serious internal competition to hold down an NHL spot in Calgary. This kid is going places.
Mikhail Vorobyev probably wont hang a picture of this one on his wall. As the Avs prospect writer, I watched this trainwreck unravel in real time, but good on Vorobyev for following his man, forechecking when he could have been lazy, and capitalizing on a mistake:
Filip Hronek was somewhat of a surprise name on the Red Wings out of camp, but he looked right at home on the point here:
Dennis Cholowski (speaking of Red Wings d-men) shows nice instincts to sneak into position and makes no mistakes to roof his first. The record is bad in Detroit but there are certainly a few bright spots for fans sticking this one out for the long haul.
Jacob MacDonald is someone I didn’t know much about before scoring his first. He’s paid his dues in the AHL and ECHL, so props to him for making it far enough to tally an NHL goal:
Ben Street isn’t like most names on this list, because he’s 31 years old. A career AHLer, he’s earned his living in hockey a less glamorous way than the stars do, and you can bet this goal meant the world to him and the teammates who have known him for over a decade in the pros.
If I’ve missed anyone on this list, please let me know on twitter so I can include them next week! After opening the floodgates this week, I’ll be going back to including them at the end of y regular Ramblings.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck scooping up some early-season fantasy steals as the slumps and streaks start to take shape.