Wild West – Western Graduating Rookies

Grant Campbell

2020-04-06

We will look at each graduated rookie (26 or more games in the NHL) for each of the Western Teams and see how they fared this season.

Anaheim

Sam Steel – It is easy to look at only six goals in 65 games as a disappointing season, but Steel was able to hold his own in the NHL and average over 15 minutes per game with a ton of different line combinations. He was solid in his own end (48.4 CF %) and was above 50 percent in the faceoff circle. He grew this year and should benefit next season.

Max Comtois – He struggled this season with five goals and six assists in only 29 games and more importantly he struggled without the puck. He spent some much needed time in the AHL and had 24 points in 31 games and played well. It is fairly evident he will be a winger in the NHL and the physical Comtois should be a regular next season.

Isac Lundestrom – With his second 15 game stint in the NHL, Lundestrom is no longer a rookie. He has still to manage a goal after 30 NHL games and at only 20 years of age, perhaps he was better served in the AHL for the full season.

Josh Mahura – After his 11 games this season, Mahura has now posted two goals and seven assists in 28 games. For him to become a regular in the NHL, he will need to produce offensively as he is a heavily sheltered non-physical defenceman whose specialty is not in his own end. There is opportunity in Anaheim to be sure.

Arizona

Adin Hill played well when Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta went down with injury posting a 91.8 save percentage in the 13 games he dressed. Aside from injury or trade there isn’t really a place for Hill above the other two. 

Barrett Hayton – Played 20 games and will still be eligible next season and could be a favorite.

Calgary

Dillon Dube was only a rookie by one game as he had dressed in 25 games in 2019-2020. He managed to dress in 45 games this season and has now played 70 games with seven goals and 14 assists. He has done all he can in the AHL offensively but will need to perform in the bottom six with Calgary for the next few years. He will need to be better without the puck. 

Chicago