Across the NHL last night, a handful of rookies recorded multi-point games. Lets dig a little deeper into those performances and other prospect notes.
Hey look, that's Auston Matthews leading the league in both points (10) and goals (6). The Leafs took it on the chin last night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, losing 7-3, but it was Matthews third multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist. He is on pace for 137 points and even though that obviously won't be attained, I don't think its out of the realm of possibility to see 70-80 points from Matthews this season after his hot start. Toronto will keep giving him big minutes both at even strength and on the power-play.
A two-point effort from Pavel Zacha, his first multi-point game of his young NHL career. The 2015 sixth overall pick has been playing beside Kyle Palmieri and Taylor Hall at even strength and on the top power-play unit. Zacha has also added seven shots on goal, eight hits and six blocks in just six games so far this year. He has yet to score his first NHL goal, but don't be surprised to see it come soon.
Ryan Dzingel has been given a huge opportunity playing with Derick Brassard and Bobby Ryan, and he has delivered in a big way. He is sitting on six points in six games, including a two goal effort last night in a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. He will come back to earth, given that he hasnt received much in the area of power-play time and is currently shooting at a 50% rate (four goals on eight shots), but his deployment with two of the teams' most talented offensive producers is favorable. Dzingel has offensive ability, but needs to be in a scoring role in order to produce.
Mike Matheson continued a hot stretch last night with three points in his last four games. Obviously a small sample size, but Matheson is playing nearly 20 minutes a night, averaging nearly three shots per game. The best news for Matheson owners is that over his past two games, he has been receiving increased power-play minutes. In the Panthers last two contests, the young defenseman has averaged 3:21 of power-play ice time.
Malcolm Subban had a tough night last night in his second NHL game filling in as a replacement for starter Tuukka Rask and backup Anton Khudobin who are both out with injuries. He gave up three goals on 16 shots, before being replaced by fellow rookie Zane McIntyre in a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Subban has now started twice at the NHL level, surrendering six goals on 22 shots. McIntyre will get the start tonight against the Rangers.
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