Jeff Skinner inspires all-time rook list
Clearly, Carolina Hurricanes rookie Jeff Skinner wasn't happy to be left off the top five of my Calder Watch list last Wednesday. Since then, the 18-year-old has rolled up seven points in four games to take an early stranglehold on the league's rookie scoring race with 15 points in 15 games. Even the most mathematically challenged (like me) can figure out that averages out to a point per game.
Skinner's strong start got me thinking about the most impressive rookie seasons in league history. When you go through the record book, there are quite a few to consider.
After consulting with my spiritual puck advisor, Barry Melrose, I opted against including Wayne Gretzky's sensational 1979-80 NHL debut campaign (51 goals, 86 assists, 137 points) because he wasn't eligible for Calder Trophy consideration as a former WHA skater. For the record, starting the 1978-79 WHA season as a 17-year-old, the Great One totaled 104 points in 72 games. Not bad, eh?
Working with the almighty Mullet (Melrose), here's the top-five list of most impressive rookie seasons in NHL history that we agreed on.