Boston’s rookies – DeBrusk, Heinen, McAvoy – lead the way to victory; Noesen, Barrie and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
While the Boston Bruins were something of a punch line when it came to the 2015 Draft, and they probably should regret passing on those players, it’s not like the cupboard has been left bare. In fact, rookies powered Boston to a 7-2 win over Columbus Monday.
Jake DeBrusk, who was selected in the middle of that infamous three-pick run in the middle of the first round in 2015, led the way with a goal and two assists. The rookie winger has put up 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in his past 10 games, impressively generating 27 shots on goal in that time. In fact, since November 18, DeBrusk has the highest shots/60 during 5-on-5 play of any player to play at least 100 minutes.
A rookie who has provided plenty of value for the Bruins, especially relative to his draft slot in the fourth round in 2014, is left winger Danton Heinen, who also put up a goal and two assists against Columbus, giving him nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past seven games.
No one criticizes the Bruins for their 2016 first-round pick, when they selected defenceman Charlie McAvoy. The 19-year-old leads all rookies in ice time, by a lot, averaging 23:16 per game. In addition to producing a goal and an assist against Columbus, McAvoy tangled with Blue Jackets rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois, earning a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. McAvoy has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past nine games.
Boston’s line of DeBrusk, Ryan Spooner and Anders Bjork (another rookie) controlled play (17 for, 4 against, 81.0 CF%, 9-2 scoring chances) against the Blue Jackets.
The Bruins lead the league in both games played and points generated by rookie skaters this season.
Here are the teams with the most points from rookies this season:
TEAM POINTS BY ROOKIE SKATERS
|New Jersey Devils||132||73|
|New York Islanders||75||46|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||64||46|
|Los Angeles Kings||146||43|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||85||29|
|Vegas Golden Knights||52||25|
|Detroit Red Wings||25||11|
|St. Louis Blues||50||10|
|San Jose Sharks||40||9|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||36||9|
|New York Rangers||21||6|
Stefan Noesen – The Devils winger has been on a good run lately and continued with a couple of goals in a 5-3 win over Anaheim, giving him eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past seven games.
Tyson Barrie – Colorado’s puck-moving blueliner scored a pair of goals on 11 shot attempts (5 SOG) in a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh. He’s tied for the scoring lead among defencemen.
DEFENCE SCORING LEADERS
|Drew Doughty||Los Angeles||35||5||20||25|
|Nick Leddy||N.Y. Islanders||33||6||18||24|
|Mikhail Sergachev||Tampa Bay||32||8||15||23|
|Alex Pietrangelo||St. Louis||31||7||16||23|
|Brent Burns||San Jose||32||6||16||22|
|Kevin Shattenkirk||N.Y. Rangers||33||5||17||22|
Seth Jones – Columbus’ top-pair blueliner had a tough night (10 for, 21 against, 32.3 CF%, 4-12 scoring chances) and was on the ice for three goals against in a 7-2 loss at Boston.
Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh’s superstar pivot had team-worst possession stats (9 for, 24 against, 27.3 CF%) and was on for a goal against in a 4-2 loss at Colorado.
Tyson Jost – Colorado’s rookie forward was buried (2 for, 14 against, 12.5 CF%, 1-6 scoring chances) in a 4-2 win against Pittsburgh.
Shayne Gostisbehere – The Philadelphia blueliner was on the wrong side of shot differentials (9 for, 10 against, 47.4 CF%) and on the ice for three goals against in a 4-1 defeat against Los Angeles.
Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus’ star netminder allowed seven goals on 45 shots in a 7-2 loss at Boston. He has a .878 save percentage in his past eight starts.
Logan Couture – San Jose’s centre, and leading scorer, is out with a concussion, pushing Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney up the depth chart for their 5-3 loss at Edmonton.
Patric Hornqvist – An upper-body injury sidelined the Penguins winger at Colorado.
Kyle Palmieri – The Devils’ scoring winger returned to action for the Devils after missing four weeks with a broken foot.
Alexander Kerfoot – Colorado’s rookie winger was back in the lineup against Pittsburgh, after missing a week with a leg injury.
Bruins C Patrice Bergeron, LW Brad Marchand and RW David Backes each contributed a goal and an assist in a 7-2 win against Columbus. Bergeron has nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the past eight games, Marchand has 14 points (6 G, 8 A) during a nine-game point streak, and Backes has five points (3 G, 2 A) in the past seven games…Bruins C Ryan Spooner contributed a couple of assists against the Blue Jackets, giving him six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past six games…Blue Jackets RW Josh Anderson had a goal and an assist in a 7-2 loss at Boston, and has 11 points (6 G, 5 A) in the past 13 games…Devils LW Miles Wood scored two goals in a 5-3 win against Anaheim; he had four points (1 G, 3 A) in the previous 15 games…Devils C Brian Boyle contributed three assists against the Ducks, and has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past six games…Devils rookie LW Jesper Bratt added a goal and an assist, and has nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past 10 games…Ducks C Adam Henrique tallied a highlight-reel goal and an assist in a 5-3 loss at New Jersey, giving him eight points (4 G, 4 A) in nine games with Anaheim…Ducks D Josh Manson added a pair of assists, matching his production from his previous 12 games…Kings C Nick Shore earned a couple of assists in a 4-1 win at Philadelphia. He had four assists in his previous 19 games…Avalanche RW Sven Andrighetto had a pair of assists in a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh, matching his production from his previous 15 games…Avalanche RW Mikko Rantanen added a goal and an assist, and has nine points (3 G, 6 A) in the past nine games…Penguins D Chad Ruhwedel picked up a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss at Colorado; he had one assist in his previous 26 games…Oilers C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and LW Patrick Maroon both had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win vs. San Jose. Nugent-Hopkins has seven points (5 G, 2 A) in the past eight games, while Maroon had three points (1 G, 2 A) in his previous nine games…Oilers C Leon Draisaitl contributed a couple of assists, giving him six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past seven games…Sharks D Brent Burns and RW Kevin Labanc both had a couple of assists in the loss at Edmonton. Burns has 15 points (6 G, 9 A) in the past 13 games, and Labanc has five assists in the past five games.
Avalanche D Nikita Zadorov had a stellar game (21 for, 5 against, 80.8 CF%) in a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh…Penguins enforcer Ryan Reaves had strong possession numbers (14 for, 3 against, 82.4 CF%) at Colorado.
Kings G Jonathan Quick turned away 36 of 37 shots in a 4-1 win at Philadelphia, snapping out of a mini-slump; he had a .889 save percentage in his previous four starts.
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com