After only five games and five goals, the 20-year-old Russian forward was already being compared to Mario Lemieux and challenging all-time legends Joe Malone, Cy Denneny, and Newsy Lalonde for the hottest starts by an NHL rookie. It will be intriguing to see how Malkin's rookie campaign ultimately stacks up against the ones posted by other notables.
2 of 10Paul Kennedy/SI
OK, he wasn't technically a rookie in the eyes of the NHL, having played a season in the WHA, where he won top freshman honors. Still, the 18-year-old Great One's NHL debut was a doozy -- his 51 goals made him the youngest player ever to net 50 or more, and his 137 points were good for co-ownership of the scoring title and the Hart Trophy.
3 of 10Paul Bereswill/SI
After scoring with the first shot of his first shift, Super Mario went on to post 43 goals and 57 assists. His even 100 points weren't quite good enough to crack the top 10 in scoring but were more than enough to take home the Calder Trophy.
4 of 10Robert Laberge/Getty Images
The Next One debuted with Philly after refusing to play for Quebec, which had drafted him first overall in 1991. Lindros enjoyed a solid season -- 41 goals, 75 points -- but was upset in the Calder race by Teemu Selanne.
5 of 10Robert Laberge/Getty Images
The Finnish Flash swooped in and stole the Calder from Eric Lindros with a mind-boggling rookie record of 76 goals and 132 points. Selanne also lit the lamp 24 times on the power play.
6 of 10Anthony Neste/SI
The Isles' first-round pick of 1977 (15th overall) broke in with a bang, becoming the first rookie in NHL history to top 50 goals. He scored 53 and added 38 assists for 91 points, finishing sixth in scoring while forming a potent and eventual Cup-winning punch with center Bryan Trottier.
7 of 10Tony Triolo/SI
The gritty two-way center, a second-round pick in 1974, captured the Calder by scoring 32 goals and 95 points for a young team that resembled the current Penguins of Malkin and Crosby. Trivia question: Who won the Calder between Trottier in '76 and Bossy in '78? Answer: Atlanta's immortal Willi Plett.
8 of 10Mike Powell/Getty Images
Only 18 years old, the first overall pick of the 1981 draft scored 45 goals and 103 points while launching the Jets on a 48-point improvement that was then the biggest one-season turnaround in NHL history.
9 of 10AP
Like Malkin, Stastny slipped away from his former team, much to its displeasure, in order to make his name in the NHL. The 24-year-old Czech defector's 109 points were the rookie mark Selanne topped in 1993. Stastny's 70 assists are still tied for first with Joe Juneau of the 1992-93 Bruins.
10 of 10AP
The future Mr. Hockey scored a modest seven goals and 22 points in 58 games and would need another two seasons before he cracked the 20-45 mark. But once he finally got going, Howe turned out to be pretty good.
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