Thus far in the 2013 campaign, the NHL and fantasy hockey enthusiasts alike have witnessed a handful of impressive rookies to hit the scene. Fantasy owners who took a shot on these young guns have been rewarded and should definitely consider keeping them on their roster for next season. Simply put, dynasty league players, make sure you keep these first-year players on your radar.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers: The Panthers have known that Huberdeau was special ever since they selected him with the third overall pick back in 2011. Now that he is getting time in the big leagues, he is proving that to be true. And then some. The rookie has 10 goals and five assists on the season, ranking him first among rookies in goals and second in points. He has arguably been the Panthers best offensive player this season and that’s without having talented guys such as Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss consistently in the lineup. Right now, he may be the favorite to win the Calder Trophy. Fantasy owners should look to keep him in dynasty leagues because not only is he only going to get better (scary right?), but the Panthers offense will too.
Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins: Hamilton may be just 19-years old, but he looks well beyond his years when out on the ice. More times than not, the rookie looks very calm, cool and collected. On the season, Hamilton has two goals to go along with nine assists, which ties for second among rookies. His fantasy value is rather high, seeing as he is being placed on the top power play unit on one of the better teams in hockey. Not to mention he has often been paired with elite blue-liner Zdeno Chara this season. Assuming Hamilton continues his strong play and stays healthy, there is no reason that this kid won’t hold the same promising fantasy value in 2014.
Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers: Schultz might possibly hold the most fantasy value among all rookies in the league. He is already one of the more promising offensive defensemen in hockey, registering five goals and eight assists on the season. Schultz plays on a young, up-and-coming team, filled with tons of offensive talent. So far this year, he is logging over 22 minutes per contest and is seeing a plethora of power play time, as he should. He can move the puck extremely well, sees the ice with ease and can also light the lamp when given the opportunity. Barring any trades, this young core in Edmonton will remain intact for quite some time, providing Schultz with some big time fantasy relevance for years to come.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy hockey/football columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.