Welcome to the first edition of the Rookie Report. In this column we will track the 2011 rookies to see how they are doing, and which type of role they are playing with their respective teams. As there are a number of impressive rookies to follow, a different sample group will be taken each week. This week’s edition features rookies who are having an early season impact on their teams.
Mark Letestu – At the age of 25, Letestu is still considered a rookie after playing only 10 NHL games last season. After 10 games this season, He has seven points and is tied for the lead in rookie scoring. He has looked good early, seizing the chance to play with the Penguins. Letestu could be shifted to the wing once Jordan Stall returns from injury, but he has been a nice surprise for the Pens.
Tyler Ennis – The other player currently at the top of the rookie scoring race is Tyler Ennis. The diminutive forward is working hard to prove that he belongs in the NHL, and has also put up seven points in his first 10 games. He showed some good chemistry with Derek Roy in early games and continues to impress in Buffalo. He was a solid point producer at the junior level averaging close to a point per game, so keep an eye on Ennis as he looks to establish himself in the big league.
Jordan Eberle – The Edmonton Oilers line-up features a number of skilled young players, but Eberle is stealing the spotlight early on. After his first eight games, he has scored three goals and three assists, while averaging over 18 minutes in ice time per game. Eberle has impressive goal scoring skills, and his ice time has increased since the start of the season, so he could be a nice pickup for your fantasy team.
Derek Stepan – After working hard in the preseason, Stepan earned himself a spot on the Rangers starting roster. In his first NHL game, he scored a hat trick and will stick with the team after the impressive debut. With some injuries to key players up front, Stepan is getting a chance to play more. The Rangers have promoted the rookie to their top line with Alexander Frolov and Brandon Prust, but he has only two assists since his first game.
Bryan Bickell – After winning the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks lost some important depth players as salary cap casualties. There were many holes to be filled in the roster this season, and Bickell has stepped in and played well in Chicago. A power forward with some good size and strength, he has seen time on a line with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane. After scoring goals in his first 2 games, he has been bounced around the line-up, but now finds himself back on the top line. Since Marian Hossa is out for 2 weeks with an upper body injury Bickell should get more ice-time, which could increase his current five points.
Look back next week as we check in on the top rookie defensemen and their performances to start the season.