This week’s question is:
Which rookie do you like fantasy-wise the rest of the season?
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Ryan: It's hard not to like Elias Pettersson. There isn't much in the way of rookies you'd want in a standard league, but with 14 goals and 25 points in 25 games, Pettersson is definitely one of the few. He got off to an unreal start with 10 goals and 17 points in 11 games, but then hit a rough patch, which might have scared off some owners. Rookies tend to be hot-and-cold though and it doesn't change the fact that Pettersson has an abundance of skill. Besides, he seems to have turned a corner with two goals and six points in his last six games.
Brian: I'm going to go with Dallas rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen. Since John Klingberg went down with a hand injury a month ago, Heiskanen has been playing over 23 minutes per game and has anchored the Stars' first power-play unit. After registering only three points in his first 10 NHL games, the rookie rearguard has recorded 12 points in his last 20 contests. The fact that he's taken on all this responsibility with such poise at the tender age of 19, suggests he's just scratching the surface of his vast talent.
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Daniel: Elias Pettersson is heads and tails better than any other first-year player at the moment, as he is performing at a point-per-game clip. It's hard not to like him. Right now it's a good time for NHL fans and fantasy players if you like rookies, as the league is littered with strong up-and-comers. Colin White and Brady Tkachuk both look legit in Ottawa, and Maxime Lajoie is looking good for the Sens, too. However, give me Rasmus Dahlin, the No. 1 overall pick in this past year's draft. He has two goals and 14 points with a plus-6 rating and his five power-play assists equal Pettersson's production in that category. The difference is that Dahlin is producing at a position not as deep as forward.
Joey: I feel like Elias Pettersson is the obvious answer here, but I'll put him aside for the sake of giving a different answer. Jesperi Kotkaniemi has quietly put together an impressive rookie season with the Montreal Canadiens. The 18-year-old has primarily played on the third line, but he's also been getting first-unit minutes on the power play. The young Finn has three goals and 15 points in 30 games this season. That puts him on pace for just over 40 points right now. If the Canadiens ever figure out their power play, Kotkaniemi's point totals will likely increase at a more rapid pace.
Corey: If I could have any rookie for this season on my fantasy team it would unquestionably be Elias Pettersson, but since he has received enough praise here I will go with Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk. He has hit a bit of cold streak with no points in the last six games, but his 0.80 points per game is still second only to Pettersson among first-year players. He also provides shots (54), penalty minutes (21), hits (49) and some power-play production.
Michael: Pettersson has been the obvious pick to date but that is not the question. I have been very impressed by Heiskanen, having watched him yesterday in Las Vegas, but the player I like the rest of the way is Rasmus Dahlin of the Sabres. The number-one pick in the 2018 Draft is a game-changer and while he had been getting used to the NHL, he has moved atop of the Sabres defensive corps and has shown a complete game including offensively. He has slumped offensively of late with nary a point in his last five games but with two goals and 14 points in 30 games as an 18-year-old blueliner, he has such a bright future.