Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Rookie scoring race weekly recap--Panarin still tops, Gostisbehere cracks top-five

Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com

Chicago Blackhawks rookie Artemi Panarin will be hard to catch in the NHL rookie scoring race as he plays on the most potent line with the league's leading scorer in Patrick Kane. That and the fact that he's 24 yrs. old and spent seven seasons playing in the KHL. Props the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks for finding and bringing aboard a Russian who scored 102 points (46g, 56a) in 105 games for St. Petersburgh SKA of the KHL.

Dude has mad skills and when you put him on a line with a premier player like Kane, who leads the league in scoring, it's a recipe for big-time success.

Panarin picked up where he left off in the first week of play after the All-Star break netting a goal and adding five assists in three games while adding to his rookie leading 18 goals, 34 assists and 56 points.

It will be hard for any rookie to catch him in the overall points-race as his next closest competitor is Dylan Larkin with 37. But Detoit's Larkin did tie Panarin in goals on the strength of three goals in three games. The Detroit Red Wings forward has 18 goals and 19 assists on the season.

In what could end up as a race for second amongst scoring, Buffalo's Jack Eichel is third in points (35) and goals (16) and is tied for third in assists with 19. Eichel had a rough week scoring-wise as he was only able to register one assist in three games for the week.

Arizona's Max Domi sits fourth in the rookie scoring race with 34 points but is second in assists with 21. He added two in three games for the Coyotes last week.

Props to Philadelphia defenseman Shane Gostisbehere who cracked the top-five in points on the strength of five points (1+4) in four games this past week. Gostisbehere who was taken by the Flyers with the 78th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft has season totals of nine goals and 18 assists (fifth amongst rookies) in 33 games, easily tops defensemen in points.

The Coyotes' Anthony Duclair and the Calgary Flames Sam Bennett round out the top-five in goals with 14 each as listed on NHL.com, but Buffalo's own Sam "The Forgotten One" Reinhart also has 14 goals in one less game then Duclair.

Although he's miles behind because of an injury that kept him out of the lineup 37 of his teams 54 games, Edmonton's Connor McDavid is scoring at a feverish pace. In 17 games he has 18 points (7+11) and rattled off a post All-Star break stat-line of two goals and four assists in four games last week.

Because of that lost time McDavid is far off the pace and catching Panarin is a distant dream, but who amongst us would count him out of making it into the top-five in any or all three scoring categories?

Not I, types the man at this keyboard.

Rookie Leaders (via NHL.com)




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