Calder Watch : Conacher, Tarasenko, Yakupov Headline Top Rookies


One of the most interesting things to watch is how rookies adapt to their first NHL seasons.  While most teams are at or near the 10 game mark, how do the young stars of the future stack up.  Here are my top 5 so far:

St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Tarasenko, STL – Got off to a very quick start, with 5 points in his first 2 games.  He has points in 7 of St. Louis’ 9 games this season and is a +5, playing just under 15 minutes per game.

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Cory Conacher (89) t. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Cory Conacher, TBL – Part of the Lightning quick strike offense (pun intended) the 2012 AHL MVP has multiple points in 5 games so far this season.  He has been held off the score sheet 3 times in 9 games.  He also has 2 game winners for the Lightning

Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov (64) . Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Nail Yakupov, EDM – Has recorded a point in his last 6 games, Yakupov could be the most consistent rookie.  Made more headlines for goal celebrations than his play on the ice, but is a dangerous sniper who gets prime opportunities in Edmonton.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz (19) Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Schultz, EDM – Leads all rookies with over 23 minutes of ice time per game.  Leads all rookie defensemen in scoring with 3 goals and 3 assists, and is a +1.

Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk (27) Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Galchenyuk, MTL – Consistency might be the only thing holding him back, as he has points in only 4 of his 9 games.  Has 3 games where he recorded 2 assists.

Those are the top 5 rookies of the season so far.  There is still a ton of time left, and I will check in later on to see if there are any changes.  Players that will have something to say about it before the end of the season might be Jonathan Huberdeau, Dougie Hamilton, Simon Despres and a pair of Senators, Jakob Silfverberg and Mika Zibanejad.