Danny DeKeyser, Chris Kreider Lead Calder Trophy Dark Horses

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Certain NHL rookies have been on the radar since the very beginning of the 2013-14 season. Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin were two of the most highly touted youngsters taken at the draft last summer and have both been solid in the roles that their respective teams have given to them.

It didn’t take long for Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks to cement himself not only as one of the top rookie scorers, but one of the top point producers in the NHL while skating alongside Joe Thornton. Sean Monahan wasn’t necessarily drafted to be NHL ready, but he’s been a top-six player when healthy for the Calgary Flames and looked outstanding in the process.

While this small contingent of rookies has been outstanding and spent a lot of time in the spotlight, there are still several other young players doing impressive things that aren’t getting quite as much love as the MacKinnons and the Hertls of the world. We’re going to take a look at a few of those names here today.

Worth noting is that this isn’t a power ranking list. They aren’t in any particular order—just showing some love for some kids that are playing like veterans despite being so young.


All statistics appear courtesy of HockeyDB.com unless otherwise noted. All stat projections appear courtesy of ESPN.com.

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