Which freshman marks will stand the test of time? Which are ripe to be broken? Some of these standards are downright otherwordly
OVER WHEN HELL FREEZES
No player has even reached the 70-goal plateau since Selanne and Alexander Mogilny did it 25 years ago, and the few who’ve cracked 60 weren’t rookies. Only four rookies have even scored
50 times in a season. To imagine a first-year NHLer scoring 77 or more goals… we have a better chance of finding intelligent life on another planet before that happens. Seriously.
DARE TO DREAM
AUSTON MATTHEWS FOUR GOALS IN FIRST GAME Hey, if a player could do it as recently as last season, it’s possible. Then again, we’re talking about breaking a record, not equalling it. Seeing a rookie score five would be fall-off-our-chairs surprising.
ONE FOR THE HOGS
ALEX OVECHKIN 425 SHOTS Matthews’ 279 shots last season were the fourth-most ever by a rookie and he still trailed Ovechkin by 146. Wow. We’ve only seen 14 seasons in league history with a player topping 400 shots. Still, that Ovechkin did it in this era tells us it can be done again, albeit by an otherworldly talent.
YOU’RE JOKING, RIGHT?
TONY ESPOSITO 15 SHUTOUTS No goalie, let alone rookie goalie, has recorded double-digit donuts in four of the past five seasons. Only one stopper, rookie or not, has gotten within two shutouts of Tony O’s single-season mark since he set it in 1969-70. Forget close: no one has gotten close to being close in almost half a century. Add in that Esposito was a rookie and you get a record virtually impossible to beat.
CALLIN’ ON DAHLIN
LARRY MURPHY 76 POINTS AS A D-MAN In the past 20 years, only Dion Phaneuf, Tyler Myers, Shayne Gostisbehere and Zach Weresnki have challenged for 50-point campaigns as rookie blueliners, so 76 points looks miraculous. Then again, prospect Rasmus Dahlin might be the most hyped blueliner on the offensive side of the puck in, well, 20 years.
TERRY SAWCHUK 44 WINS Matt Murray won 32 times despite starting only 47 games as a rookie last year. What if he’d started 65? A stud goalie prospect starting the majority of a great team’s games would be the right formula to produce a 45-win season. Tough to do but far from impossible.