4 NHL Rookies to Watch
As the 20015-16 NHL season gets going, much attention is being drawn to a couple of great rookies in Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Buffalo’s Jack Eichel. Those two should be duking it out for class prominence this season, and possibly for years to come. But Arizona also has two newcomers that should make the Coyotes’ prospects much better during the season. Here’s a look at the four and the impact they may have:
This 18-year-old junior hockey sensation has been called the second coming of Sidney Crosby, and was an easy choice for the No. 1 draft pick by the Oilers. He’s also the prohibitive favorite to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Whether that pans out remains to be seen, but there’s no questioning his speed and skill set. He’s gotten off to a slow start, with no points in the first couple of games. But he’s learning, and will surely improve with age. I expect McDavid to be a major contributor for the Oilers, but he’s not likely to make the Oilers a contender.
He wasn’t the No. 1 pick, but the Sabres weren’t about to pass up on this phenomenal center. Like, McDavid, Eichel is another one who needs no developing in the minors. He’s already contributed a couple of points in the openers, and having Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis, Matt Moulson and Sam Reinhart to play with up front, he’ll only get better. With Eichel in the lineup, this Sabres team should make a move in the Atlantic Division and even make the playoffs.
Max Domi, Anthony Duclair
They’re paired up on the same team, Arizona, and together they should make enough impact to get the Coyotes 10 or so more wins this season. They were both in the 2013 draft and have had a little seasoning. Domi is a center who made a splash in the 2015 World Junior Championships, and his exciting brand of play should be welcome to an offense that has been dry as the desert.
Duclair may see a lot of time paired with Domi up front, because they played together in the World Juniors. Both players have had up and down careers in the lower ranks, but if they can jell, the Coyotes should be better than .500.
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