It’s been a good start to the season for rookies in the NHL. Auston Matthews scored a stunning four goals in his debut and Finnish top picks Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujärvi also scored in their debuts. William Nylander had two assists.
However, two of the more impressive rookies to TSN’s Bob McKenzie are the Flyers’ Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov. McKenzie appeared on TSN 1260 in Edmonton, saying it’s “ridiculous how good [Provorov] is” and saying Konecny was their “maybe their best player” in their first game.
Despite their early success, McKenzie didn’t see either of them being in the Calder Trophy conversation, because neither will post the offensive numbers. He also joked that “everybody knows they already awarded the Calder the other night after the first game. People didn’t see that presentation afterwards, but Auston Matthews was presented with it after the game.”
McKenzie compared the style of play over the first two nights to Team North America in the World Cup, saying hopefully “the kids … will triumph because the first two nights of this season have been a joy to watch.”
In other new from around the hockey world:
- David Staples of the Edmonton Journal took a look at how GM Peter Chiarelli turned the formerly soft Oilers into a much tougher team. The Oilers have added four tough and dependable NHLers in Eric Gryba, Zack Kassian, Patrick Maroon, and Milan Lucic for a total cost of two fourth round picks and three players who had no future in Edmonton: former starter Ben Scrivens who was toiling in the AHL, and fringe minor leaguers Travis Ewanyk and Martin Gernat. Scrivens and Gernat are now overseas, and Ewanyk signed with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. Staples writes that the new-look Oilers are able to “[answer] the bell if it comes to clobberin’ time, as it surely will.”
- The Carolina Hurricanes have assigned defenseman Roland McKeown to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. McKeown was a healthy scratch in the Hurricanes season opening loss in Winnipeg. McKeown is a former second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, acquired in the Andrej Sekera trade back at the 2015 trade deadline. The Raleigh News & Observer Chip Alexander believes the team is expecting newly-acquired defenseman Jakub Nakladal to be available for Sunday night’s game in Vancouver.