The NHL playoffs are a time when veterans are valued beyond their skills for their leadership and experience. Even some veteran NHL players can tear up the regular season and falter in the playoffs due to their mental makeup. With this in mind, a rookie in the playoffs is often looked at like a screen door on a submarine with the question: Why is it there?
In the playoffs, blue collar players are an essential element of any team with Stanley Cup aspirations. Normally grizzled veterans fill the roles of hitting, blocking shots and creating turnovers for cup contenders. However, some rookies have the right mentality that allows them to be very valuable come playoff time.
Here are the top-five blue collar rookies from the first round.
All statistics from NHL.com.