Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rookie All-Star Teams

This season, Luke Schenn was named to the NHL Rookie All-Star team. As a Leaf fan myself, I may even say that he didn’t quite deserve the selection over Boston’s Matt Hunwick or even Atlanta’s Zach Bogosian. Either way, his selection gives the Maple Leafs a complete team of rookie All-Star selections since the first post season squad was selected in 1982/83. The Leafs join Philadelphia, New Jersey and Boston as teams that have had at least three forwards, two defense and a goalie selected since then.

The Leafs selections over the years are:
F Dan Daoust, Wendel Clark, Sergei Berezin, Mike Johnson
D Kenny Jonsson, Luke Schenn
G Felix Potvin

Not the greatest septet, nobody of Hall of Fame caliber although Clark may have had a shot had he stayed healthy.

Over the twenty-six seasons of selecting Rookie squads, three teams have had ten players honoured.
Philadelphia’s ten:
F Eric Lindros, Mikael Renberg, Simon Gagne
D Thomas Eriksson, Chris Therien, Janne Niinimaa, Joni Pitkanen
G Pelle Lindbergh, Ron Hextall, Brian Boucher

Some big stars here, but again probably no Hall of Famers (prove me wrong Eric, prove me wrong).

Pittsburgh’s ten:
F Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Malone, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux, Warren Young
D Zarley Zalapski
G Sebastien Caron, Patrick Lalime

A nice looking group of forwards with two Hall of Famers (Jagr included) and two young potentials. The quality dropped off on the defensive side however.

Chicago’s ten:
F Steve Larmer, Tony Amonte, Eric Daze, Tyler Arnason, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Kris Versteeg
G Darren Pang, Ed Belfour, Dominik Hasek

The Hawks selections include two of the greatest goalies of the era, lots of potential and a few duds. The Penguins and Hawks lead the way with seven forwards each selected and Chicago and Philly lead with three goaltenders each picked. The New Jersey Devils have had nine players picked to the All Rookie teams and are tied with the Flyers and L.A. Kings with four defensmen selected.

New Jersey:
F Kevin Todd, Petr Sykora, Partik Elias, Scott Gomez
D Eric Weinrich, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski, Colin White
G Martin Brodeur,

Two pretty certain Hall of Famers in Brodeur and Niedermayer…….and Kevin Todd

Los Angeles
F Luc Robitaille, Jimmy Carson
D Drew Doughty, Lubomir Visnovsky, Rob Blake, Steve Duchesne
G Jamie Storr

Two more Hall members here in Robitaille and most likely Blake. Storr never quite panned out as expected and is currently lighting it up with Dusseldorf of the German League.

The Canadiens have had eight players chosen as All-Rookie:
F Michael Ryder, Oleg Petrov, Gilbert Dionne, Kjell Dahlin, Mats Naslund
D Chris Chelios
G Carey Price, Patrick Roy, Steve Penney

Solid with Chelios and Roy yet the forwards after Naslund are really quite the heap of mediocrity at best.

The Bruins have also had eight picks:
F Brad Boyes, Sergei Samsonov, Joe Juneau, Ken Hodge
D Nick Boynton, Kyle McLaren, Glen Wesley
G Andrew Raycroft

Certainly not the calibre of even the Habs with Boyes probably the best of the lot.
Two other teams have had seven selections;

New York Rangers
F Mike York, Tony Granato, Mike Ridley, Tomas Sandstrom
D Brian Leetch
G Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Blackburn
Leetch and Lundqvist are the pick of the litter here. Blackburn had a nice start to his career derailed by a nerve in his arm. He retired at age 22.

F Jarome Iginla, Joe Nieuwendyk, Hakan Loob, Sergei Makarov
D Dion Phaneuf, Gary Suter, Jamie Macoun
An overall strong group from Calgary, but no goaltender honoured over the years.

Perhaps the best lot of players from one team would be the Detroit Red Wings. Although they have had only five players chosen to the All-Rookie squad they may end up with four of them in the Hall. Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom are in or locks and Sergei Fedorov is probable with Henrik Zetterberg a definite possibility. Vladimir Konstantinov is the fifth Wing so honoured, and he was well on track for a stellar career before his unfortunate accident.

Overall, one could say the year-end selection of rookie All-Stars shows that in any given year there really is only two or three first year players who have a chance to go on to immortality.

1 comment:

Bidnall said...

A bit of trivia... Although Pavel Bure captured rookie of the year, he wasn't named to the Rookie All Star team!!! Back then voting was for EACH forward position (LW, C, RW). Bure's votes were split between LW and RW and ended up striking out at both positions. Since, the NHL have simplified the squad to three forwards.

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