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NHL scores 2016: The shine has yet to wear off the rookies

The kids are here and they’re a ton of fun.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Did you know, there are other rookie players out there in the NHL this year besides Auston Matthews? Crazy to think, but it’s true! And they had a pretty stellar night of hockey, if I do say so myself.

Night four of the new NHL season had 13 games on the docket, featuring some pretty great rookie talent not rhyming with Shauston Smatthews (though he’s okay too, I suppose). Instead of Matthews, teammates Mitch Marner and Connor Brown took center stage for the Maple Leafs in their 4-1 win over the Bruins — their first victory of the season.

Marner’s goal was actually the game winner for the Maple Leafs, one that gave Toronto the 2-0 lead that Boston couldn’t surmount. Brown’s goal was the first of the night and his second of his career as well.

Not to be outdone, some other names in Zach Werenski, Devin Shore, Nick Schmaltz and Artturi Lehkonen had their firsts as NHLers too. That’s five goals by rookie players in one night, and we’re not even counting Jakob Chychrun nabbing his first point in Arizona and Travis Konecny adding his third assist in two games for Philadelphia.

Much has been said about Matthews — and rightly so, because the kid’s great — yet it’s quite refreshing to see more young kids throw their names into the ring. This is the future of the NHL we’re talking about here, how can it not be exciting to see glimpses of what the league could be in just a few short years?

From what we’ve seen from rookies so far this season, the NHL’s future is in great hands.


Lightning 3, Devils 2
Capitals 2, Islanders 1
Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 2
Wild 4, Jets 3
Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 1
Senators 4, Canadiens 3 (SO)
Panthers 4, Red Wings 1
Penguins 3, Ducks 2
Rangers 2, Blues 3
Blackhawks 5, Predators 3
Coyotes 4, Flyers 3 (OT)
Avalanche 6, Stars 5
Canucks 2, Flames 1 (SO)

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Three things we learned

1. Bruce Boudreau has his first win in Minnesota!

It’ll be a long haul for the Wild to make the playoffs in a stacked Central Division, but every journey begins with a single step. That step being a first win for new head coach Bruce Boudreau after Minnesota’s three goal comeback over the Jets. The Wild will need a lot to go right under their new head coach, but on the plus side Boudreau is normally a regular season wizard with a 409-192-80 record in his coaching career. Add another one to the win column.

2. The hats were a’flying

Fans were treated to not one but two hat tricks in Saturday’s hockey action.

First, Richard Panik got the ball rolling with three goals in Chicago’s win over the Predators.

Then Joe Colborne joined the party with his first career hat trick that sent the caps raining down in Colorado.

3. The Canucks are back, baby!

I present to you, the Vancouver Canucks!

...ouch. Let’s see it again, shall we?

Yep, that’s a missed play by Loui Eriksson for an own goal by the Canucks after pulling their goalie before a power play. It almost gave Flames rookie Brett Kulak his first career goal, but instead Troy Brouwer got the goal. What a time.

Impact Moment

Andrei Vasilevskiy had a tremendous save that kept the Lightning in the game against the Devils and possibly one that should have broken his back in the process.

Let’s see it at full speed:

Yep yep, that had to have hurt. But hey, the Lightning won by a goal!

Stat of the Night

Just one more reminder that the rookies are good.