Connor McDavid just arrived at the 82 game mark in his NHL career and it got me wondering how he compares to other great starts in an NHL career.
Although Connor is no longer considered a rookie, he has played a season's worth of games.
I scrubbed the NHL.com database to find the top 10 NHL rookie seasons of all time.
SPOILER ALERT: I've included Bo Horvat and the Sedin's rookie campaigns at the bottom. Meaning they aren't in the top 10. But you already knew that.
Coming in at #10, believe it or not Senators fans, Alexei Yashin starts a trend of Russian players with amazing first seasons.
Yashin finished his rookie campaign with 30 goals and 79 points in '93 -'94. Sadly he finished with a -49 rating. That's a minus for every assist he had. In the very same year however, another player would crack the top 10 in rookie scoring.
At #9, a fellow Russian in Sergei Fedorov finished with the same 79 points Yashin did in his rookie year. But he comes in at #9 because he finished with a +11 rating. He did not win the Calder trophy as both Russians were beat out by goalies. Ed Belfour had a stellar year with the Chicago Blackhawks and took home the award for top rookie in 1990.
The '93 -'94 season was not only great for Canucks fans, but it boasted some big rookie performances.
At #8, Mikael Renberg of the Philadelphia Flyers scored 38 goals on 88 points, beating out Yashin that year in points. Renberg was still the 2nd best rookie the year the Canucks went to their 2nd franchise appearance in the Stanley Cup final. A kid by the name of Martin Brodeur took home the Calder Trophy that year.
At #7, Evgeni Malkin continued the streak of players coming from overseas and dominating the NHL in their first year. He scored 33 goals and finished with 85 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006-2007. Also winning the Calder trophy as top rookie.
#6, Sergei Makorov. Probably the least notable name on the list, he finished with 62 assists and 86 points with the Calgary Flames in '89 -'90. No other player on the list had less than 32 goals, and Makorov finished with 24. He was also the Calder winner that year.
With the 5th spot, and half way through our list, comes Joe Nieuwendyk. Another Calgary Flames player on the list who had a solid rookie campaign. It was a few years earlier in '87 -'88 when Nieuwendyk scored 51 goals and 92 points.
at #4, Joey Juneau surprised many when he started with the Boston Bruins in the '92 -'93 season. He had 32 goals and 70 assists for 102 points. Meaning only 4 players have ever cracked the 100 point mark in their rookie seasons. But he did not win the Calder. That player is in one of our top spots.
#3 is no surprise unless you hate him. Sidney Crosby had 102 points in his first campaign. He had more goals than Joey Juneau by finishing with 39, which is why we rank him ahead, even though they are tied in rookie point totals. But he was beaten out by a Russian that year in both the rookie scoring and the Calder trophy.
With the 2nd best season in NHL history in a rookie year, Alex Ovechkin strikes big with 52 goals and 106 points in 2005-2006. This was the last time we've seen a top 10 rookie season.
And finally at the top spot. No, it's not Gretzky, he was never considered a rookie. The top NHL Rookie season belongs to the '92 -'93 Calder cup winner Teemu Selanne. Selanne had a year like no other, amassing 132 points. What was even more amazing was more than half of those points were goals, with 76. Can you imagine Brock Boeser getting 76 goals in his first season with the Canucks?
Our honourable mention goes to the aforementioned Wayne Gretzky, whose records seem unbreakable. Unless of course Jagr had played his entire career in the NHL.
"The Great One" had 137 points in his first NHL season, scoring 51 goals and 86 assists. Not much more than Teemu.
So where does McDavid fit in? in his first 82 career NHL games, he has 90 points. 90 points would put him into 6th spot all time.
The top Canuck is Pavel Bure in '91 -'92. Bure finished with 34 goals and 60 points his rookie season.
Bo Horvat's rookie season was decent. He amassed 13 goals and 12 assists in 68 games.
Henrik Sedin played all 82 games in his first NHL season, scoring 9 goals and 20 assists. His brother Daniel finished with 20 goals in his rookie campaign, adding 14 assists.