17 May 2007
Henrik Lunqvist, Thomas Vanek, Jussi Jokinan, Milan Michalek, Zach Parise, Johan Franzen, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Miller, Marek Svatos, Chris Kunitz, Andrea Meszaros, Francois Beauchimin, and A goalie named Cam Ward.
Now that is a fantastic class of rookies, all of the above have had significant impacts on playoff teams in the last two years, except for that scrub named Ovechkin. All he did was score 52 goals his rookie year. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the '05-'06 class was really 2 rookie classes due to the lockout.
What the experts predicted there would be a dropoff in rookies this year, and there has, but not much.
We all know about Stasny, Jordaan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, Woitek Wolski, and Anze Kopitar. But this years rookie class also includes: Phil Kessel, Travis Zajac, Dustin Penner, Ryan Clowe, Alexander Radulov, Marc-Eduord Vlasic, Valtteri Filppula, Matt Carle, Mark Giordano, and Ryan Backstrom. This class has it's fair share of pretty good players as well.
The good news is that with rookie classes such as these, it's easy to see that the NHL is going to be in very good hands for years to come. While stars such as Sakic, Jagr, Shanahan, and Broduer approaching the end of their careers the NHL needs soem new faces to rest on. Not just media superstars like Crosby, but also young players teams can locally market to build up fan bases on the grassroots level. I would say that teams have their wish as any of the above mentioned young players has the ability to be a cornerstone of an orginization and their community.
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