Mikael Granlund USA Today


A look at some rookies who are preparing for the NHL's biggest stage.


Last season, rookies Chris Kreider and Mark Stone each made their NHL debuts in the playoffs, facing off against each other in the opening round between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators. Kreider, without playing a single game in the regular season, went on to tally seven points in 18 playoff games before the Rangers were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Final.


The 2013 lockout shortened season has shown an impressive crop of rookies who will look to follow suit if given the opportunity. Some have put themselves on the fantasy radar in the regular season, others, as Kreider did last year, will hope to do so in the playoffs.



1.) Mikael Granlund – Round 1, 9th Overall 2010 NHL Entry Draft


Replacing the injured Mike Rupp, 21-year-old center Mikael Granlund was recently called up to the Wild yet again this season.


With a playoff spot all but clinched, the number one prospect in one of the deepest prospect pools in the league will be looking to stay on the roster come playoff time. Splitting time in the NHL and AHL this season, Granlund has eight points in 25 NHL games in his rookie campaign and 28 points in 29 games with the Wild’s AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros.


Granlund is regarded as the future of the Wild franchise, touted by scouts as a playmaking center with great vision and natural talent with the ability to play any forward position. Whether it’s in the NHL or the AHL, Granlund will get his first taste of playoff hockey this season. The Aeros currently sit 5th in the American Leagues Western Conference. Granlund will certainly be on fantasy radars next season, but will benefit from playoff hockey in the minors where he will likely stay once sent down. He could however, provide a solid option on the Wild’s fourth line, in the event of injury.

2.) Tyler Toffoli – Round 2, 47th Overall 2010 NHL Entry Draft


20-year-old 2013 AHL Rookie of the Year Tyler Toffoli scored 48 points in 55 games with the Los Angeles Kings affiliate Macnhester Monarchs in the AHL this season.


Toffoli made his NHL debut March 25, skating on a line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, scoring his first NHL goal to tie the game against the Blackhawks with 1:27 remaining in the third. Toffoli went on the play seven more NHL games this season, tallying an impressive five points in that span. Possessing a great shot, Toffoli is touted by scouts as a highly skilled forward with great hockey sense.

The Monarchs are a fringe playoff team in the American League and may not make it. The Kings may want to give Toffoli another call up to The Show, and give him his first taste of playoff hockey. Presently the Kings are sitting pretty, fourth in the Western Conference with no injuries to their forward corps. Toffoli could get the call on an emergency basis, if and when injuries to key forwards occur.

3.) Jacob Trouba – Round 1, 9th Overall 2012 NHL Entry Draft


As the Winnipeg Jets hang onto a playoff spot by a thread, their number one defensive prospect, 19-year-old Jacob Trouba, could make his NHL debut before seasons end and give the Jets a much needed push into the playoffs.


Standing at 6-foot-2, 187 pounds, Trouba is touted as a shut-down defensemen capable of delivering bone crushing hits as well as contribute offensively. Trouba is often compared to Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber, for his combination of size and skill. In 112 games at various levels of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Trouba has scored 17 goals, 58 points. This season, playing for the University of Michigan Wolverines, Trouba was 37-12-17-29 in the CCHA.


Trouba has yet to make his NHL debut, however, practiced with the Jets April 9. He played his final game with Michigan March 24, paving the way for his pro-debut. It is likely that Trouba will make his professional debut with the Jets American Hockey League affiliate St. Johns Icecaps, however, the Jets may wish to throw him into the fire by debuting him in the playoffs.


4.) Anders Lee – Round 6, 152 Overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft


Before signing with the New York Islanders April 1, 22-year-old center Anders Lee scored 61 goals and115 points in three seasons at the collegiate level with Notre Dame. Lee has two points in two games in the NHL this season, scoring a goal on his first NHL shot. The Islanders are riding the outstanding play of center John Tavares all the way to their first playoff berth since 2007 and may look to Lee for some extra fire power and added depth up front.


Other Posts from Schopp:



DobberHockey's 2013 Prospects Report is available for purchase (and will be released for download on June 1)


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Comments (5)add comment

austeane said:

Corrado Corrado has been called up (or will be called up in the AM depending on what you read). He is the Canucks ONLY right handed D so he will be given exceptional amounts of opportunity for the time of year. He could pick up a few points in deep playoff leagues. Also a good idea to pick him up as a prospect as his stock may be about to soar.
April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

destructivedevil97 said:

... Hey Bud

Your a bit off on the Toffoli post, he scored his first career goal against Phoenix, normally I wouldn't say anything but I remember watching that game

April 22, 2013
Votes: +0

austeane said:

A few more options. The Canucks have a couple prospects that could see time in the playoffs...
Jordan Schroeder could easily have an impact in a cushy 3rd line center spot.
Frank Corrado is the other. Awesome prospect whose stock has risen like crazy. Candidate for OHL dman of the year. PPG in the couple of AHL games he has played (the fact that he is even playing says something, as Chicago doesn't play as many Canucks prospects). The Canuck's assistant GM said he could see Corrado playing as much as Tanev did in the last playoff run (Tanev even played in the finals, and well).
Peter Andersson is another name that could play. Very very unheralded. Big body that makes smart plays and has decent puck skills for a defensive defensemen. Heavily leaned on in the AHL by Arniel.
April 20, 2013
Votes: +0

geco11 said:

BEAU BENNETT I'm really liking the way Beau Bennett is playing for the Penguins. He's getting a solid 11-14 minutes a game now and he's gelling with Morrow.
April 20, 2013 | url
Votes: +1

TheZamboniGuy said:

... Nice paper andrew ! I tought those prospects will be good in playoff, but I dont know much of Anders Lee.
April 20, 2013
Votes: +0
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