Week 8 Rookie Report
*Updated • This week we unveil our updated Rookie Rankings for Week 8. While the top of the order persists as nearly the same, there have been a number of new developments in the second half of the ratings.
Now, Let’s take a look at some of the movers and shakers at the half way mark of the 2013 NHL season.
↑ Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA – C) This week Huberdeau takes over our number one spot. He’s been more reliable of late than Conacher, he has three goals in his last five games, and he’s the top freshman goal scorer by five with 12 goals on the season. Amazingly, he leads the Panthers in scoring, but that has more to do with Florida’s offensive ineptitude. Arguably, Huberdeau is the mid-season frontrunner for the Calder.
↑ Brandon Saad (CHI – L) Saad continues his torrid pace: he’s currently ninth in freshman scoring, but also has six points in his previous four games.
INJURY UPDATE: ↑ Vladimir Tarasenko (STL – R) It was reported on Monday, March 11th, that Tarasenko has resumed light skating, but there remains no timetable for a return. He’s been out with a concussion since Feb. 20th.
↑ Casey Cizikas (NYI – C) Cizikas has been in the Islanders line-up all season, and has done well to be a regular contributor from his third line spot – and more so of late. He has six points in the past nine games.
↓ Mikael Granlund (MIN – C) There were big expectations for Granlund heading into 2013, but his minus-3 outing against the Blackhawks on March 5th has him in Coach Yeo’s doghouse. The Wild are suddenly jelling, going 7-3 in their last ten games, and currently Granlund is watching from the press box. He could get another chance, but right now he’s in danger of dropping out of our Top 35. UPDATE: The Wild sent Granlund to the AHL on March 12, 2013.
↑ Charlie Coyle (MIN – R/L) While Granlund is out, Charlie Coyle is in. He’s been playing everywhere from left wing on Minnesota’s fourth line, to right wing on the top line next to Parise and Koivu. He has three points in his last four games – but still only four points in 13 games overall. Coyle is worth tracking, especially because Minnesota appears to be finding its groove.
↑ Jason Zucker (MIN – L/R) Zucker's been in the line-up consistently since mid-February and is currently skating next to Cullen and Setoguchi on Minnesota’s third line. He has five points in ten games, and two in his last three.
↑ Gustav Nyquist (DET - C) The Red Wings made a somewhat surprising move on Tuesday, March 12, sending Tomas Tatar back to the AHL in exchange for Nyquist. Nyquist had 7 points in 18 games last year for Detroit, and he's currently leading the AHL in scoring with 60 points in 57 games.
↑ Brian Flynn (BUF – C) Flynn made his debut last week for the Sabres, and he’s now scored in his last two games.
UPDATE: Beau Bennett (PIT – R) Things were looking up for Bennett (three points in three straight), but he may plateau for a bit, now that his superstar line mate Evgeni Malkin is out for a week with a shoulder injury.
UPDATE: ↓ Joakim Andersson (DET – C) Ever since his three point outburst two weeks ago, Andersson has gone cold with just one point in his last seven games.
ROSTER UPDATE: Emerson Etem (ANH – R) For the time being, Etem is the rookie de jour in Anaheim. He’s played in seven straight, and has two points in his last two games. Note: Holland has dressed in three straight, while Maroon is back in the AHL. (March 12 UPDATE: Ducks recall Maroon and Smith-Pelly from Norfolf, AHL.)
INJURY UPDATE: Brendan Smith (DET – D) He only has one point on the season, but it’s worth noting that Smith has been back from his shoulder injury for a couple weeks and is playing regularly. The Red Wings are giving him plenty of opportunity to develop his offensive touch at the NHL level.
Matt Irwin (SJS – D) We mentioned Irwin in our Week 2 Rookie Report, and he’s been back in the line-up since the end of February. We mention him now because he posted a goal and assist on March 9th.