As the Olympics break approaches, five players have emerged as the best rookies of the 2009-10 NHL season. In no specific order, John Tavares, Jimmy Howard, Matt Duchene, James Van Riemsdyk, and Tyler Myers have been at the top of the rookie class. Some players have played well in spurts and other players were either too old (Antti Niemi) or too hurt (Semyon Varlamov). With approximately 25 games left in the season, it is time for one of these players to put the exclamation point on the season and take what is rightfully theirs.
Tavares was the 1st overall draft pick in 2009 and the odds-on favourite to win the trophy. He started strong but the long season seems to be wearing him down. The lack of depth on the Islanders isn't helping either.
Jimmy Howard was supposed to be the back-up to Chris Osgood this season. His play after October cemented him as the Red Wings #1 goaltender and this late-bloomer seems to be the real deal.
Duchene wasn't even the best rookie on his team in October and November but steady play and a super burst in December put this favourite of Don Cherry into the spotlight.
James Van Riemsdyk
Slow and steady, James Van Riemsdyk has played a solid all-around game. A lack of big minutes behind such proven stars and Carter, Richards, and Hartnell has hurt his chances for the big prize.
Tyler Myers was supposed to be a project defenseman. His splendid early season play was no fluke and this massive Zdeno Chara clone is a franchise player of epic proportions. Not only is he playing big minutes against the NHL's best but he is putting up amazing offensive numbers for a defenseman as well.
Prediction - Barring a late season charge by one of the other four, this is Tyler Myer's trophy. Who dares steal it away from this hulking defenseman?
Tavares, Van Riemsdyk, Duchene, and Myers all have rookie cards available in most 2009-10 products available at Canada Card World. Jimmy Howard has rookie cards available in many 2005-06 products.