Frozen Tools Forensics: Top 20 Rookies – Part 1

Grant Campbell


There are a few rookies who played a number of games in the NHL last year and have a very good chance of becoming regulars this season. They will become waiver pickups for most fantasy formats if they haven’t already been picked. We will include a number of those players along with the blue-chip rookies on most people’s radar. I know there are a lot of lists out there—and none better than Dobber’s 2019-2020 Calder Trophy Picks (available from Dobber’s Pool Guide)—but I am offering my own here as well.

20 – Connor Clifton – (D) – Boston

Clifton played 19 regular season games towards the end of last season; he only put up one assist, but did then play 18 games in the playoffs, in which he managed two goals and three assists. He showed great skating ability with some offensive punch. He is pencilled in as the sixth or seventh d-man and might be able to put up 15-25 points over a full season. He’s surprisingly physical for a smaller defenceman, averaging close to two hits per game over his 37 games in total.

19 – Carl Grundstrom – (W) – Los Angeles

Grundstrom achieved the rare feat of scoring in his first two NHL games last season, and went on to score five goals over the 15 games he played towards the end of the year. There is opportunity galore for him, as the Kings have a few spots open in the top six on the wing. He could very well be in the top ten of this list over a full season and should manage 15-20 goals.

18 – Joel Persson – (D) – Edmonton

Many will be reminded of Philip Larsen, with the Oilers bringing over another offense-minded smallish defenceman from Sweden. The only way Persson doesn’t play a good number of games in the NHL is if Evan Bouchard is completely ready for the NHL, but one would think that is why they brought Persson over: to give Bouchard a year in the AHL to grow. Persson will get some PP time and, with the skill Edmonton has, he could get some points. I think 20-25 points is a fairly conservative goal.

17 – Alexandre Texier – (C) – Columbus

Texier has a good chance to be the fourth-line center for Columbus at the start of