Now that each team has played at least 30 games, we can look back at how some of the projected top rookies are doing so far this season. I had done two articles (here and here) on the rookies that I thought would be at the forefront of this year and I was definitely over optimistic on a few of them.
Jack Hughes was number one on my list and it’s fair to say, he has struggled so far in his first season. He’s a young 18 and has been sheltered big time (77.11 OZ %) and has a very low FOW percentage of 38.4. He’s currently on pace for 12 goals and 24 assists, a far cry from the 65-75 points I had figured on. His PDO of 97.7 and low 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 5.77 might be an indication that he will improve offensively, but even then we are looking at 45-55 points tops.
I do think Cale Makar (two on my list) and Quinn Hughes (four) will slow down a little over an 82 game schedule but they have both exceeded expectations from most (which were pretty high). Makar is on pace for 23 goals and 56 assists which would be the most impressive rookie season put together by a defenceman ever. His PDO is high at 105.0 and his 5-on-5 shooting percentage is also high at 12.79, so there is some reversion due along with fatigue. Hughes is on pace for six goals and 57 assists and has more sustainable metrics than Makar. Both players are improving each and every game and I think most prognostications are out the window with these two.
Kaapo Kakko was number three on my list and I figured he was a lock for 25 goals and 55 points. He is on pace after playing 29 games for 17 goals and 23 assists, so he’s not far off. His PDO is low at 97.6 and his 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 4.08 is very low. His biggest struggle has been his play away from the puck as his CF% is 39.26, but to be fair he hasn’t been sheltered as much as most rookies with an OZ% of 48.83. He could still very easily reach 25 goals and/or 55 points.
Cody Glass was number five on my list and has shown glimpses of what I thought might be a 50-55 point rookie campaign. He is on pace for 10 goals and 18 assists and has had a little bad puck luck with a PDO of 97.5 and 5-on-5 shooting percentage of 4.88. He has only five points at ES and even with better luck is going to struggle to get above 40 points by the end of the season.
Victor Olofsson was number 15