Hendrix Lapierre was one of the big stories of the preseason. While the injury to Nicklas Backstrom likely helped matters, Lapierre went into camp basically as an extra and played his way onto the team. Not a lot of rookies do that in the NHL, maybe a handful every year. He even had to beat out fellow prospect Connor McMichael to do so. His reward was lining up on the third line and second PP unit.
I am interested to see what he and a bevy of other rookies can do with their chance. We had another guy play on this slate – Cole Perfetti – who is just getting his feet wet in the NHL. We had other rookies across the night like Jamie Drysdale, Trevor Zegras, Cole Caufield, and Jack Rathbone. While none of these players are top-3 picks from their respective drafts, they've all played their way onto their team not long after being drafted, Rathbone excepted. It just goes to show that teams don't need the first overall pick to kickstart a rebuild. Just ask the Los Angeles Kings.
And, right on cue, his first NHL goal:
It was hard to tell who was more excited, T.J. Oshie or Lapierre.
Washington kind of rolled New York in that game, and Ovi had a huge night with two goals and two assists while Evgeny Kuznetsov had a trio of helpers. Not a great start for the Rangers, who’ll turn to Shesterkin on Thursday night, having started Georgiev in the opener.
Mason McTavish was also in the lineup in Anaheim, where his debut was less certain. He lined up on the third l