After a disruptive owner's lockout and shortened season last year, plenty of new faces lit up the highlight reels at all positions as hockey got back to normal in 2013-14. This June, one of those players will be awarded the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
From NHL.com: "The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League."
Narrowing down a top 10 this year was no easy task. Injured players who probably won't return before the end of the season won't be front-of-mind candidates for the members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association who only get to name five players on their ballots.
I've filtered out the following players, based on injury information from TSN.ca:
- Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks (right knee surgery Dec. 20, out indefinitely)
- Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers (sprained knee Feb. 15, out indefinitely)
- Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets (knee surgery Mar. 4, out 4-6 weeks)
- Mark Schiefele, Winnipeg Jets (MCL Mar. 5, expected to miss 6-8 weeks)
- Chris Kreider, New York Rangers (broken left hand Mar. 25, expected to be placed on IR for the rest of the season)
All have bright, long-term futures in the league, but they likely won't be major factors in Calder voting.
Click through to see which youngsters do make the cut, and share your thoughts on this year's rookie class in the comment section.
All stats courtesy of NHL.com and are current through Monday Mar. 24.