Ryan wrote about Ottawa's lengthy list of rookies in this morning's edition of "Classic Stats". While he points out that the Sens have actually used fewer rookies so far than each of the previous two seasons, his stats and chart work illustrate how Ottawa's current rookies are being called on more and are playing key roles for the Sens. Players like Colin Greening and Erik Condra got to break into the NHL at the end of the 2010-11 season when the season was essential over for Ottawa and management had already kick-started the team's rebuild.
This year is a different story. With the Senators trying to secure a playoff position and with long-term injuries to All-Stars Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, this year's rookies are being called on in more important games to play bigger minutes, with less veteran cover.
So far, I've been impressed with Jakob Silfverberg and Patrick Wiercioch. Yes, Silfverberg has not been scoring at the (unrealistic) rate we (S7S writers) predicted heading into the season. But he has given every indication that with experience he will be a top-six forward for years to come. His shot, best displayed against Martin Brodeur in the shootout, is fantastic as his quick release. He's shown an ability and willingness to play Paul MacLean 200-foot game, which will serve him well going forward. I've also been impressed with Patrick Wiercioch. Maybe it's because I had relatively low expectations, but Wiercioch has surpassed them. While Gryba and Borowiecki play a similar game, Patrick brings different assets, made more valuable by the loss of Erik Karlsson. In particular, Wiercioch's occasional stretch passes have been a thing of beauty.
What do you think? Who has been Ottawa's best rookie so far this season? Be sure to check out Ryan's "Classic Stats" before deciding.
- The Sens face John Tortorella and the Rangers tonight (Senators Extra)
- Rick Nash won't travel to Ottawa (Blueshirt Banter) What is the nature of his injury? (Blueshirt Banter)
- How long can Craig Anderson keep playing like this? (6th Sens)
- Ottawa has lost almost half its payroll but still keeps producing (Senators Extra)
- The Eastern Conference sucks so the injury-depleted Sens still have a chance at the playoffs. Mostly this makes me sad at Spezza and Karlsson and what this team could have achieved with them (Senators Extra)
- The Flyers-Penguins game was fun last night (Broad Stree Hockey)
- ESPN doesn't care about hockey (SB Nation) But should we care that ESPN doesn't care? (SB Nation)
- Big news out of Buffalo yesterday as Lindy Ruff was fired (Backhand Shelf) and numerous twitter jokes followed. Full coverage from Buffalo's perspective (Die by the Blade) Ron Rolston has been named as his replacement (Puck Daddy)
- Jannik Hansen suspended one game for careless play (Puck Daddy)
- Anaheim goalie Viktor Fasth got a new contract, congratulations to his agent (Backhand Shelf)
- Gurdeep Ahluwalia and Nabil Karim hosted Sports Centre. Unfortunately, racist tweets followed (Backhand Shelf) Bruce Arthur also talked about Karim and Ahluwalia more generally in a post about the ugliness repeatedly hurled at those in the sports industry (Bruce Arthur)
- Daniel Wagner looks at perception and dirty players (Backhand Shelf)