Sabtu, 08 Oktober 2011

Rookies: They Just Keep Getting Younger

And we keep getting older. That's one of our favorite jokes but it's so our case at least.

Anyway, we just feel like talking about the rookies who will be making their debuts and whether we think they will stay or not and why.

Because we really like talking about young boys.


01. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 18

Edmonton Oilers

Do we think he's going to stay? Heck yes.

Why? After watching Taylor Hall make it last season and the penchant for the Oilers to throw their rookies in baptism by fire then we think it is highly likely the kid will stay. Plus, the Oilers need the help. And he's also not too bad in his own end which is a plus.

02. Gabriel Landeskog, 18

Colorado Avalanche

Do we think he's going to stay? Yep.

Why? It's the same situation that the Oilers are going through with the lack of scoring and the dearth of young kids. It's the whole throw him in and see what happens. It will probably be better for him anyway.

03. Mark Scheifele, 18

Winnipeg Jets

Do we think he's going to stay? Yes.

Why? The Jets are just the Thrashers in fancier jerseys so they will need the help down the middle or on the wing or wherever they put the kid. We think he's had a pretty good preseason (but then again, it's just preseason). He could be the next Jeff Skinner. We're calling it.

04. Mika Zibanejad, 18

Ottawa Senators

Do we think he's going to stay? More than likely.

Why? Ottawa had a terrible year last season. It was hard for them to score and hard for them to keep the puck out. From the two games we watched this preseason, he looked pretty good. Plus, we can't wait to hear Paul Steigerwald mess his name up repeatedly on Penguins broadcasts.

05. Ryan Strome, 18

New York Islanders

Do we think he's going to stay? Maybe.

Why? The Islanders always need help but they won't let just any eighteen-year-old play. Last season they sent Nino Niederreiter down even when they could have used his offensive ability. If Strome is ready, he will play. It's really that simple for the Islanders.

06. Brandon Saad, 18

Chicago Blackhawks

Do we think he's going to stay? For now, yes.

Why? The Hawks will be without Patrick Sharp for a bit with his recovery and Saad has been quite impressive this preseason. We thought that he looked just as good as the big guys but we don't think the Hawks will be able to fit him into the roster unless there are injuries. Expect him until the Hawks are healthy.

07. Adam Larsson, 18

New Jersey Devils

Do we think he's going to stay? Maybe...

Why? We say maybe because it's hard to tell with Sweet Lou Lamoriello. He's a tricky dude sometimes. It would seem that the Devils could use the help on the blueline and Larsson hasn't been too bad but defensemen are famous for taking really long to develop so we will see what happens.

08. Sean Couturier, 18

Philadelphia Flyers

Do we think he's going to stay? Another maybe here.

Why? Same as the Devils, it's hard to tell right now. The fact that the Flyers are pretty good on paper and haven't done terrible in the preseason is encouraging for the kid. But if the Flyers don't need him, which seems to be what we see, then he's gone after the nine games are done.

09. Ryan Murphy, 18

Carolina Hurricanes

Do we think he's going to stay? Yes.

Why? The Canes were lucky with Skinner last season and he really, really impressed in games. Whether this kid will make it remains to be seen but there's a good chance because the Canes could use the scoring help (who wouldn't want it these days) and he seems to be ready to help out.

10. Anton Lander, 20

Edmonton Oilers

Do we think he's going to stay? Yes.

Why? He's in the same boat as the Nuge, literally and the Oilers need as much scoring help as they can muster. We think he will fit in well with the Swedes in Edmonton. Which there are a lot of. No complaints here, it's kinda nice to see that many really good-looking kids in one lineup.

11. Brett Bulmer, 19

Minnesota Wild

Do we think he's going to stay? Sure.

Why? Most of the rookies here are from teams that need them. And if they stay, it's because the team could use their offense. Bulmer will most likely start out on the second line to see what kind of offense he can bring. But we think that with the style of play that the Wild employ, he will be staying.

12. Christopher Tanev, 21

Vancouver Canucks

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes.

Why? With the shortened offseason that the Canucks had, injuries will start to pile up. And he will be the kid to fill in when needed. From what we saw, he's actually pretty competent out there and someone who can fill the void on the blueline.

13. Devante Smith-Pelley, 19

Anaheim Ducks

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes.

Why? As a third or fourth liner, he will be invaluable. The Ducks have that first line that is amazing. And Teemu/Saku on the second. But the other lines need filled out and not with just the beefy fighters. They need scoring (and grit) and that's what Smith-Pelley provides.

14. Justin Faulk, 19

Carolina Hurricanes

Do we think he's going to make it? Maybe.

Why? With Ryan Murphy also making the opening night roster as an 18-year-old, it will seem almost crazy to have two rookies on the blueline. But this could also be another Tanev situation where he will be the one that they call on to fill in and provide some offense and play when they need him.

15. Jake Gardnier, 21

Toronto Maple Leafs

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes.

Why? Because the Leafs need something to believe in on the blueline. And Dion Phaneuf needs to yell at someone. In all seriousness though, we think that he will be part of the 'Franson sucks so put Gardiner in' or 'God, Gunnarson, get out of there, put Gardiner in' rhetoric from Ron Wilson.

16. Philip Larsen, 21

Dallas Stars

Do we think he's going to make it? It's a possibility.

Why? The Dallas blueline seems to be in good shape currently. They have quite a few good offenseive-minded players paired with stronger defensive players, it's a good mish-mash of styles. But like the Canucks situation, injuries plague every team in a long season so he will be one of the call-ups for sure.

17. Zac Rinaldo, 21

Philadelphia Flyers

Do we think he's going to make it? He could.

Why? What we noticed the most about Rinaldo is the fact that he players like a Flyer. He's the rough and tumble kid that will get into the corners and battle until the other team just rolls over and gives up. And with 331 PIMs last season, kid knows how to handle himself.

18. Marcus Johansson, 21

Washington Capitals

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes, yes yes.

Why? The Capitals need someone to take over the second line position that Brooks Laich will vacate from time to time as the Capitals put him on the wing. Or at least that's what we think will happen. He brings the offense and passing ability that Laich wishes he had...

19. David Rundblad, 20

Ottawa Senators

Do we think he's going to make it? He better.

Why? Well, he's Swedish. He has amazing hair. And the Senators can't say no to anyone who knows what to do with the puck besides put it into their own net. Okay, we're done being mean. We think that they will be doing themselves a disservice by cutting him from the roster.

20. Tim Erixon, 20

New York Rangers

Do we think he's going to make it? For now, yes.

Why? Marc Staal is still dealing with post-concussion or concussion issues and will be out for a while. The blueline in New York has always been shaky but this makes it even worse. Erixon won't be the 'rock' that the other Staal boy is but at least he knows how to play some defense.

21. Jacob Josefson, 20

New Jersey Devils

Do we think he's going to make it? If he doesn't, we will be surprised.

Why? Same boat as the Wild, Avalanche and the Oilers: they need him. He is a center but he will probably be put on someone's wing and expected to help score some goals and create some offense on any line. It will take pressure off of the first line, that is loaded.

22. Jordan Caron, 20

Boston Bruins

Do we think he's going to make it? Absolutely.

Why? Same deal as the Canucks. With the shortened offseason and all that partying that Seguin and Marchand did, the Bruins will need some help filling the injury-plagued lineup they will inevitably have in this long season. It's how it is in the NHL.

23. Marc-Andre Gragnani, 24

Buffalo Sabres

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes, he already has.

Why? He fits in well with the Sabres and has made a nice place for him on their blueline. With the addition of Ehrhoff in the offseason, most of the offensive pressure is off of him so he can get stronger and get better this season without all of that weighing him down.

24. Zac Dalpe, 21

Carolina Hurricanes

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes.

Why? We envision him as a Brandon Sutter-lite, although not as defensive...yet. He had fifteen games last season and he proved that being in the NHL was an realistic goal for him and his skill set. Will he be the new Jeff Skinner? No. But he will be an important part in the Hurricanes lineup.

25. Erik Gudbranson, 19

Florida Panthers

Do we think he's going to make it? He f-ing better.

Why? You may think that we pick players based solely on their looks, well you're absolutely right. Except when it comes to defensemen. They have to be good and good-looking for us to even take notice. And he hits both right on the head. If he doesn't make it, we know where Sunrise, FL is. We really do.

26. Adam Henrique, 21

New Jersey Devils

Do we think he's going to make it? It would be nice.

Why? As the former MVP of the Memorial Cup and former Windsor Spitfire, we know of at least one person who has been waiting for this kid to crack the Devils line-up. It's nice to see his name on the opening night roster because we think that he will be a surprise in New Jersey. Or we could be dead wrong.

27. Roman Horak, 20

Calgary Flames

Do we think he's going to make it? Yes.

Why? With a name like 'Roman Horak', he better make the Flames. We think that with the Flames, it's the same thing as the other teams that are in need of shoring up their third and fourth lines. For now he's a scrub until he learns the ways of the NHL and can put up better numbers.

28. Maksim Mayorov, 22

Columbus Blue Jackets

Do we think he's going to make it? Maybe.

Why? We aren't being mean here but it's always hard to tell whether a Russian player can hack it in the NHL or not or whether they want to or not. The Jackets did not have luck with Filatov so hopefully this Russian will work out better.

29. Ryan Johansen, 19

Columbus Blue Jackets

Do we think he's going to make it? We really want him to.

Why? As a center, he was billed as the future first line middleman that the Jackets desperately needed. And we saw how that ended up for Derick Brassard. But with Jeff Carter in the picture (for now), it seems as though the kid can take his time and grow into the first line spot, which makes us happy.

30. Cory Emmerton, 23

Detroit Red Wings

Do we think he's going to make it? Sure, why not?

Why? The Red Wings, yes they are amazing and all that, but they are not getting any younger. It is nice to see players like Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader as regulars in the line-up and it gives us hope that the Wings will be just like everyone else some time soon. Maybe.


Hope you enjoyed this. And look for the Sophomore post coming up next week.

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