3.18.2007

The "who is he?" rookie


Here are some key rookies that are all but unknown to the NHL.


- Joe Pavelski. All but lost in the Calder race because he came in mid-season, Pavelski has never the less managed to be a great NHL player so far. In 40 games on almost every line, he has 14 goals and 25 points. He also does well on the power-play, with 5 goals, and has 3 game-winning goals. He also has a 13.6 shooting percentage.


- Travis Zajac. Not that Zajac is unknown, but ever since Paul Stastny came to life and Evgeni Malkin continued his dominance, Zajac has been wiped off the Calder nominee list. But he will certainly be the rookie of his team. Zajac has 15 goals and 35 points, and has shown awesome chemistry with Zach Parise and fellow Devils rookie David Clarkson. Clarkson is another significant Devils rookie, but he will still be Calder eligible next year since he can only play a maximum of 12 games.


- Ladislav Smid. Due to the fact that Mathieu Carle, Ian White, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Nathan Paetsch are way ahead of him in scoring and get much more notice since they are on a winning team (although White's Maple Leafs aren't in the playoffs), Smid has a lot less of a chance in the Calder race. However, Smid is a reliable defenseman on a team that could rival last year's Capitals and Penguins as the worst defensive team. He has especially been able to step up when Daniel Tjarnqvist, who has only managed to play 37 games, goes down. Smid has scored 2 goals and 9 points in 67 games.
- Andrei Kostitsyn. This Canadiens rookie has performed well in a limited role. Through 13 games, he had 1 goal and 7 points. His goal was a game-winner.
- Tomas Fleischmann. Another rookie with a limited role, Fleischmann has nevertheless performed well. Through 20 games, he had scored 4 goals and 8 points. He had 2 assists in 14 games last year. His first goal, scored against Martin Broduer, was a combination of Rick Nash (batting the puck out of the air) and Alex Ovechkin (while being checked and off balance).
That's all of the rookies for now.

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