The NHL has a bumper crop of young talent who are making an impact in their first year in the NHL. Here are the best from the first half in our NHL All-Rookie Team.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
Henrique is man benefitting most from the injury to Nugent-Hopkins as he is knocking on the backdoor of the Calder race, emerging as the only legitimate contender. Heading into the all-star break, Henrique is within one of the Nuge in points, centering the top line in New Jersey. The highlight of Henrique's young career, a Gordie Howe hat trick earlier this month, when he dropped the gloves with Jarome Iginla and chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Matt Read, Philadelphia Flyers
Bob McKenzie, brilliant once again. Bob went relatively off the board with his preseason Calder prediction, but Read has certainly lived up to the billing in Philadelphia. Read, the former Bemidji State University Beaver, leads NHL rookies in goals at 15, in a secondary scoring role for the Flyers.
Jared Cowen, Ottawa Senators
Adam Larsson, New Jersey Devils
Larsson was the first defenceman taken in the 2011 NHL draft. He is tied for first amongst rookie defencemen in scoring with 15 points. He is quickly becoming the go-to guy in New Jersey, a leader in Devils' ice time since game one this season.
Richard Bachman, Dallas Stars
Bachman started the year in the AHL, as the starting goalie for the Texas Stars, but after injuries to Kari Lehtonen and Andrew Raycroft, Bachman was thrown into the NHL fire. Bachman has gone 6-2-2 in his 12 appearance for the Stars, filling in admirably during desperate times in Big D. Bachman impressed the Stars brass so much that Raycroft was handed a demotion upon returning from injury and is now the goaltender between the pipes for Texas, while Bachman competes with Lehtonen on the big club.
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Cody Hodgson, Vancouver Canucks
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
Rafael Diaz, Montreal Canadiens
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo Sabres