Rookies are generally the "weak links" of a sports teams. They are generally the youngest players on the teams, guys who are incredibly inexperience and who's ability to handle play on the big stage is questioned often. On the flip side rookies are the future and their flashes of brilliance excites fans for what can be. The Rangers currently have three rookies starting every night in Artem Anisimov, Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy. Let's take a deeper look:
Michael Del Zotto has already proved everyone who doubted him wrong. He is leading all defensemen on the Rangers in points and he is easily the most physical defenseman on the blue line. Currently John Tortorella is giving him more and more ice time, and against Detroit he lead all players in the TOI category. Del Zotto has been the quarterback of the power play since game one and his 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points. While Del Zotto is sporting a -9 his defense has increased massively and he is currently playing 19 minutes a night. That's pretty impressive for a 19 year old kid.
Artem Anisimov has also made a pretty positive impact for the Rangers, although his was more expected. Currently Anisimov has seen time on every single line but with the injuries to Brandon Dubinsky and Chris Drury he is starting to see some top line minutes. His 5 goals and 8 assists for 13 points are good for 5th on the team in points, and his two way play has really come along quite nicely. Many expected him to make the team last year and when he didn't he responded by having a point per game effort for Hartford, now that he has made the team he is showing that he belongs here.
Matt Gilroy was another player that Ranger fans were wondering if they were going to see on Broadway this year. Signed from Boston University Gilroy has made pretty instant dividends for the Rangers. His speed allows him to pinch in on every rush and find a way to get back in time to make the defensive play. His hockey IQ is off the charts and once he gets better accustomed to the game he should start putting up awesome numbers.
P.A Parentenau, Bobby Sanguinetti and Dane Byers have all seen time but not enough to do a full report on. Thoughts on who has surprised you thus far?