A look at the most interesting rookies to watch during the 2016-17 NHL season: Nicklas Backstrom: The second-year Vezana Trophy winner is averaging a team-leading 4.8 points per game and leading the league with six goals.
Backstrom is tied for fourth in the NHL with four power-play goals, and the 19-year-old leads the NHL in assists.
He is one of three rookies with more than 40 points in each of the past four seasons.
“It was always something that I’d like to do, to have that kind of a year and just be able to get a little bit more experience and learn from some of the guys that have been here,” Backstrom said.
Ryan Murray: The sixth overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft has five goals and 12 points in his past four games, which has him leading the NHL.
He has been playing in a top-six role since the trade deadline.
Alex Chiasson: The 18-year old forward is tied with Backstrom for fifth on the team with 14 points in the past five games.
He will be looking to earn his first Vezna Trophy nomination this season.
“Alex has been doing really well,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
“He’s had a good season with the Marlies.
He’s had two great years, and he’s got a couple of really good games.
So, it’s going to be exciting for Alex to get his first.”
Adam Cracknell: The 21-year, 20-goal scorer is fourth in goals (34), tied for second in assists (18) and tied for third in points (38).
Cracknell, a fourth-round pick in 2014, is in his second season with Halifax.
He had eight goals and 13 assists in his first 20 games for the Marleau-Sarnia Bulldogs, who are tied for the AHL’s best record.
Jaden Schwartz: The 20-year veteran is third on the Stars with 21 points in 33 games, and is tied on the club with seven power-plays goals.
He was one of the AHL players to have a career-high six assists in a game on Thursday.
Travis Moen: The 22-year year old is tied at first on the AHL in goals and points with seven.
He also has four power plays goals and two shorthanded assists.
“We’ve got some good young players here, and some guys that are really good,” Ruff said of Moen.
“I think he’s going play his tail off.”
Ryan Murray’s rookie season with Albany has been impressive.
He led the team in goals, assists and points.
He and Chiassat are tied on points with 13.