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13/10/2016

Auston Matthews, the 19-year-old American drafted first overall in 2016, entered the NHL with pressure on his shoulders and high expectations. A year of playing professionally in Europe and being paired with the likes of Connor McDavid on Team North America in the World Cup showed not just his skills, but his poise and confidence on the big stage.

Here’s a beauty that he put home from McDavid at the Air Canada Centre, his future home:



While Matthews seems destined for success, and with the NHL season about to begin, we went back to see how some other highly touted rookies did in their first season…


Connor McDavid

Some already feel that Connor McDavid is the most skilled player in the game. The Edmonton Oilers drafted him first overall in 2015 and recently named him the youngest captain in NHL history. While an injury partially derailed his first season there were still plenty of jaw dropping moments…



Jack Eichel

Drafted right behind McDavid in the second spot by the Buffalo Sabres was American Jack Eichel. He put up 56 points in his rookie year including this overtime buzzer beater…


Sidney Crosby

It didn’t take long for Sidney Crosby to establish himself as a superstar. His resume now includes Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh and Gold Medals with Team Canada. 938 points in 707 games...ya, he’s good.


Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr

The Pittsburgh Penguins have drafted some legendary players over their existence. Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux put up an outstanding 1723 points in just 915 games while winning two Stanley Cups. Eventually, he was joined by a rookie named Jaromir Jagr who has dominated the game for years and is STILL playing in the NHL at the age of 44! He’ll have a spot with Lemieux in the Hall of Fame when he decides to hang them up. Here’s a couple of sweet goals from when they began their careers…

Lemieux’s first ever shot on goal may have been a sign that good things were in his hockey playing future…


And here's Jagr single handedly winning one for the Penguins…


Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews is one of the best two way forwards in the National Hockey League. He has the ability to score big goals while taking on the opposition’s best players every single night. The captain of the Blackhawks has already won three Stanley Cups while also winning gold for Team Canada at the World Juniors, World Championships, and the Olympics. He’s had an impact wherever he’s played and it has led to an amazing resume. In 2007 he scored one of the nicest goals of the season as a rookie…


Alex Ovechkin

Russian sniper Alex Ovechkin is among the top goal scorers every single season, and in every single season you can expect to see most of those goals replayed over and over. The Capitals superstar won the Calder trophy in his rookie year after he scored 52 goals. He has scored 50 goals or more in seven of his 11 seasons. In his rookie year he scored one of the nicest goals of ALL TIME…


Teemu Selanne

While 52 goals is pretty impressive for a rookie. How about 76? Teemu Selanne accomplished that feat and holds what will most likely be an unbreakable record by netting 76 goals in his debut season. The 10th overall pick by the Jets in 1988 finished the year with 132 points which is also an NHL rookie record. The ‘Finnish Flash’ as he was known had success for the remainder of his career and will end up as a no doubt Hall of Famer. Here’s his record breaking goal with the now infamous celebration…


These top prospects are relied upon to make an immediate impact. Their hard work and dedication has brought them all the way to the top of the hockey world. Each prospect carries on his shoulders the weight of an entire organization, its fans, and its city. It starts on draft day. The jersey goes on. The expectation is to see that player in that jersey lift a Stanley Cup. We wish all the rookies of 2016/17 the best of luck and hope to see them mentioned on these lists in the near future!

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