NHL fans across North America are in for a treat this year as two generational talents will begin their careers. However, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are merely the tip of the iceberg as far as rookie talent in 2015-16 will go. These four young bloods stand out from the rest, and you won’t want to miss any of them.
Max Domi: F- Arizona Coyotes (20 years old, 13th overall, 2013)
The son of revered tough guy Tie Domi will more than likely make his NHL debut this season. The Coyotes #2 prospect, Domi is known for his intelligent two-way play. He had the chance to join Arizona last season, but ultimately chose to return to the London Knights, a decision that paid off in the form of 32 goals and 102 points. Domi is also a leader on the ice, something that makes him extra popular with Coyotes GM Don Maloney. When he’ll be up is still uncertain, but Domi will have an immediate impact when he does.
Sam Bennett: C- Calgary Flames (19 years old, 4th overall, 2014)
Bennett recovered from shoulder surgery last season and made his debut for the upstart Flames in the last game of ’14-’15, recording an assist for his first point. He received a true trial-by-fire in the postseason as he appeared in all 11 games Calgary played, scoring his first professional goal as well as 2 others. The Flames’ performance last season shocked the League and this season they will be out to solidify themselves as contenders. A strong rookie showing from this dynamic young lefty would certainly help that effort.
Malcolm Subban: G- Boston Bruins (21 years old, 24th overall, 2012)
PK’s baby brother is out to establish himself as Tuukka Rask’s backup this season. His debut for the Bruins last season was not at all impressive (3 goals against on 3 shots). However, Subban has all the tools to be a mainstay in the game, lightning quick reflexes, fast feet, and overall great athleticism. He also has a battle tested, Vezina Trophy winning veteran to learn from in Rask. Add the Bruins’ tough and tenacious defensive unit to the mix, and Subban’s chances of becoming Boston’s goalie of the future look very promising.
Samson Reinhart: C- Buffalo Sabres (19 years old, 2nd overall, 2014)
The Buffalo Sabres this season are trying to get back to competitiveness and respectability after being the League’s laughing stock for the past two seasons. While Buffalo has high hopes for Jack Eichel to be a big piece of their turnaround, Sam Reinhart could also be a force. Sabres GM Tim Murray loves two-way players with high hockey IQ’s, and Reinhart is that and more. He made his debut in early 2014 before going back to the WHL and eventually Rochester, where he recorded 3 assists in as many games. Reinhart has gotten his first exposure to the League over with, and is ready to start growing into the phenom he’s expected to be.
What rookies are you on the watch for?