With the opening day around the NHL, many rookies stepped out onto the ice for the very first time in their young careers. Many would assume that with their debuts would come a bit of rust and uncertainty.
Yeah, good one.
A handful of rookies absolutely flourished on Saturday, providing boatloads of fantasy value for fantasy hockey enthusiasts. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers: Huberdeau wasted no time to make a name for himself in the big leagues, scoring his first career goal just 3:37 into the game. He then went on to add two helpers, resulting in a very impressive three-point night. The rookie saw 14:25 of ice time and had a healthy plus minus of two. This kid is an absolute stud and is gold in keeper leagues. Huberdeau will continue to play on the second line … for now.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues: Tarasenko saw Huberdeau’s one goal and raised him two. This rookie netted two goals in his debut and looked like a pure goal scorer right off the bat. Both goals showcased his incredible skill-set, driving by defensemen with his speed and puck control. He has legitimate goal scoring abilities and plays for one of the best teams in hockey, so make sure Tarasenko is owned in all fantasy leagues.
Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild: Granlund didn’t have as an impressive debut as the guys above, but he did look very good out there. He netted his first career goal in the big leagues off of a deflection. It may not be pretty, but it sure counts. Expect fantasy production to continue, as he will be playing with terrific offensive players all season long.
Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers: While Laughton didn’t finish his first career game with any points, there were still some signs of life. The 18-year old played a very physical game, finished his checks hard and had some very good scoring chances. A concern is that Laughton could get sent back down after his first five games, or when Daniel Briere returns, but if he impresses, expect him to remain in the orange and black.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football/hockey columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.