Seven NHL Rookies Who Will Make Their Teams' Roster
Sometimes teams have bad seasons where nothing goes right: They lose players to injuries, their "star" players underperform and they just can't seem to get those 'W's on the board.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter how bad your season is, at the end of it you get to pick up the best young talent not yet playing in the NHL.
After being drafted some players will spend time back at their junior clubs or go to their new NHL teams' AHL affiliate.
However, some will make the big jump straight into the NHL.
The next five players are all rookies who are already penciled in on their teams' opening night roster.
Like my work? Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/lah_8
Oliver Ekman-Larsson: Phoenix Coyotes
Selected sixth overall a year ago (2009), Oliver Ekman-Larsson last season went back to his old Swedish Club Leksands in the Swedish Second Division.
After a highly productive year where he registered 27 points in 42 games, Ekman-Larsson has returned to the NHL where he is expected to compete on the Coyotes' roster.
With the losses of Jim Vandemeer and Zybnek Michalek, this has come at a perfect time for Phoenix as the Swede has an excellent two-way game and a high level of maturity.
Expect to see Ekman-Larsson playing top-four minuets by season's end and him to have become a vital cog in Phoenix's defence.
John Carlson: Washington Capitals
Taken 27th in 2008, John Carlson has a big year ahead of him.
Many hockey writers have him pegged as a front-runner for this year's Calder trophy and for good reason: He is a typical shut down defender and should pair quite well on the second line with 14-year veteran Tom Poti.
Poti should show Carlson the ropes and with Carlson's no-nonsense style of play, the two of them should have a very productive year in Mike Green's shadow.
Plus Carlson is already familiar with the Caps' system having played in 22 games with them last year (and another seven in the playoffs) so it shouldn't take him to long to get acclimated to the NHL.
My personal take: With the NHL's fascination with the Washington Capitals, don't be surprised to see Carlson take the Calder this year.
Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi, and Jordan Eberle: Edmonton Oilers
Like you didn't see it coming.
I decided to place all three of these players together on the same slide because by next season, they'll be referred to as one and the same.
Probably three of the most talented junior hockey players of all-time, thanks to some smart drafting by the Edmonton Oilers all three of these players will take to the ice at the same time.
And as they'll be playing all on the same line together, this trio will be able to grow with each other and produce incredible chemistry.
Each player has an amazing amount of talent at their disposal and combined they could be nearly unstoppable.
In less than three seasons time, this might be the most dangerous line in the whole NHL.
And who says it's bad to be an Oilers fan?
P.K. Subban: Montreal Canadians
A relative unknown before the playoffs, P.K. Subban made a name for himself throughout hockey nation last postseason.
Drafted 43rd overall in 2007, Subban had spent most of his post-draft career either in the OHL or the AHL. However, come the playoffs, the Canadians, needing another defenseman, called-up Subban and he didn't disappoint.
Subban has already recorded eight points in 14 games, became only the third defenseman in Canadians' history to record three assists in one game and play over 20 minutes a game as a rookie.
Blessed with an excellent two-way game, Subban has easily impressed Canadians management enough to give him a full season as part of their top-four defense.
He is also tipped to be a big contender for the Calder.
Tyler Seguin: Boston Bruins
One way or another Tyler Seguin is making it onto the Boston Bruins' roster.
If Marc Savard doesn't recover from his PCS (Post-Concussion Symptoms) then Seguin might make it onto the roster as a second or third line center.
However, more likely is that Seguin will slot in on the second or third line as a winger.
Seguin has the talent and utility to not only play center but winger as well, a trait which the Bruins' are hoping to take advantage of, especially with their ridiculous depth at center.
Make no mistake, the Bruins were ecstatic when Seguin fell into their laps at No. 2 in this year's draft and with good reason as Seguin has all the skill to become a superstar in the league.
But whether it be as a center or winger, Tyler Seguin will be lining up with Boston as they step out onto the ice on Saturday night.