The No. 1 overall pick of 2007 sparked a Windy City revival with his dazzling playmaking and chemistry with fellow phenom Jonathan Toews. The NHL Rookie of the Month for October, Kane, 19, was selected for the YoungStars competition and is a strong contender for the Calder Trophy, leading all rookies in assists (33) and points (45).
2 of 17Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images
Sam Gagner | Center | Edmonton Oilers
The NHL's youngest player, Gagner, 18, was drafted sixth overall by the Oilers in 2007 and is part of their youth movement, which includes impressive defenseman Tom Gilbert and center Andrew Cogliano. Though he's struggled at times, Gagner is a slick playmaker with great upside who leads all rookies with five shootout goals on 14 shots. He'll compete for the Western YoungStars in Atlanta.
3 of 17Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Peter Mueller | Center | Phoenix Coyotes
A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Mueller, 19, was the eighth overall pick of 2006 and is one of the young mainstays of the Coyotes' bright future hopes. A solid two-way player with size (6'2, 205), he's in Calder contention with 30 points in 48 games, and on the Western YoungStars squad.
4 of 17AP
David Perron | Left Wing | St. Louis Blues
A testament to pluck and perseverance, Perron, 19, was passed over in his first year of NHL Draft eligibility before being taken by the Blues 26th overall in 2007. Though undersized (6', 180), he's exhibited considerable craft with the puck as well as formidable smarts. An impressive plus-10, Perron will skate for the Western YoungStars.
5 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
Alexander Edler | Defenseman | Vancouver Canucks
A third-rounder out of Sweden in 2004, Edler, 21, appeared in 22 games for Vancouver last season and has blossomed into a smooth, steady backliner with offensive punch. He leads all rookies with a plus-15 rating and will compete for the Western YoungStars.
6 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
Erik Johnson | Defenseman | St. Louis Blues
A cornerstone of the Blues' rebuilding effort, Johnson, 19, was the first overall pick of 2006. Slowed early by a fractured foot, the smart, smooth-skating blueliner with the strong shot and nasty edge is a Calder contender at plus-5 with 16 points, including 13 assists, in 35 games. He'll skate for the Western YoungStars.
7 of 17Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images
Jack Johnson | Defenseman | Los Angeles Kings
Drafted by Carolina third overall in 2005 and dealt to Los Angeles, the 21-year old Johnson has been a bruising workhorse on the Kings' blueline this season, logging 20:48 of ice time per game, blocking 82 shots (second-most among rookies) and earning a spot on the Western YoungStars squad.
8 of 17Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Matt Niskanen | Defenseman | Dallas Stars
A Western YoungStar, the swift-skating Niskanen, 21, is one of the season's surprise stories. Drafted 28th overall by Dallas in 2005, he has rapidly progressed this season to a spot on the Stars' top defensive unit with All-Star Sergei Zubov and ranks first among rookies in games played (53) and second at plus-12.
9 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
Tobias Enstrom | Defenseman | Atlanta Thrashers
The undersized (5'10", 175) blueliner is the big surprise in the Calder race. Enstrom, 23, was an eighth-round pick by Atlanta in 2003 and spent four seasons in the Swedish Elite League. Displaying offensive flair and defensive grit, November's Rookie of the Month earned an Eastern YoungStar invite by leading all rookies in ice time (23:55) and ranking third in assists (27) and blocked shots (67). He's also tied for fourth in points (30).
10 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
Kris Letang | Defenseman | Pittsburgh Penguins
A demotion to the AHL after a lackluster training camp, and some guidance from veteran Darryl Sydor, jolted the Pens' top blueline prospect into gear. Since his recall, Letang, 20, has earned an Eastern YoungStar slot. He's been solid defensively, effective on the power play (four assists) and shown some flair for shootouts (4 goals on 6 shots).
11 of 17Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images
Mike Lundin | Defenseman | Tampa Bay Lightning
A bit of a mystery man in training camp after four years at the University of Maine, Lundin, 23, was Tampa's fourth-round pick in 2004. The defense-minded blueliner earned an Eastern YoungStars nod with his steady play (plus-3) while appearing in all of his struggling team's 50 games.
12 of 17Lou Capozzola/SI
Marc Staal | Defenseman | New York Rangers
The middle member of the NHL's trio of Staal brothers, Marc, 21, was drafted 12th overall by the Rangers in 2005 and has been a coolheaded presence on their backline, posting over 18 minutes per game and a plus-6 in 51 matches. A fine skater with size (6'4", 205) and reach, he earned an Eastern YoungStars roster spot and has invited Calder contender talk.
13 of 17Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Nicklas Backstrom | Center | Washington Capitals
A favorite for the Calder, Backstrom, 20, was the fourth overall pick of 2006. Skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov, Backstrom's savvy playmaking skills have racked up 41 points, including 32 assists, through 50 games and earned him a spot on the Eastern YoungStars team.
14 of 17Lou Capozzola/SI
Brandon Dubinsky | Center | New York Rangers
Dubinsky, 21, was New York's second-round pick in 2004. Not shy about using his 6' 1", 210-pound frame, this Eastern YoungStar has dished a rookies-leading 112 hits while playing in all 51 of the Rangers' games. He's also chipped in seven goals and 12 assists.
15 of 17Lou Capozzola/SI
David Clarkson | Right Wing | New Jersey Devils
Named to the Eastern YoungStars to replace Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy, the gritty Clarkson, 23, signed with the Devils as a free agent in August 2005 after four seasons in the OHL. He's played in 48 of their 49 games in 2007-08, posting 13 points, 88 hits (4th among rookies) and a team-leading 114 PIM.
16 of 17AP
Milan Lucic | Left Wing | Boston Bruins
The hulking 6-4, 200-pount Lucic, 19, captained Canada's junior team in last summer's Super Series blowout of Russia and has become a true impact player in Boston. The Eastern YoungStar relishes the big hit. He's delivered 93, third-most among rookies.
17 of 17Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images
Josh Harding | Goaltender | Minnesota Wild
Goalies won't appear in the YoungStars competition, but Harding has upstaged Montreal's highly-touted Carey Price and the more established Mike Smith of Dallas as this season's top rookie netminder. Drafted in the second round of 2002, Harding is 10-10-1 with a 2.88 GAA and .912 save percentage that tops all rookies.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!