NHL ANNOUNCES 2016-17 ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
The National Hockey League announced the 2016-17 NHL All-Rookie Team, including the three players voted as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie: forwards Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as defenseman Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Also named to the 2016-17 NHL All-Rookie Team are forward Mitchell Marner of the Maple Leafs, defenseman Brady Skjei of the New York Rangers and goaltender Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season. Following is a summary of each NHL All-Rookie Team member’s outstanding campaign:
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
Murray, a third-round selection (83rd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, went 32-10-4 with a 2.41 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and four shutouts in 49 outings to help the Penguins (50-21-11, 111 points) post their second-best season in franchise history. He became the first rookie to reach the 30-win milestone since 2010-11 (Corey Crawford), sharing 10th place in the NHL with 32 victories – 22 more than any other rookie. Murray also established a Penguins rookie record with his 32 wins, eclipsing the mark set by Gary Inness in 1974-75 (24). The 23-year-old Thunder Bay, Ont., native is Pittsburgh’s first All-Rookie Team selection since 2006-07 (Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal) and the third Penguins goaltender to receive the honor, following Patrick Lalime (1996-97) and Sebastien Caron (2002-03).
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers
Skjei, the 28th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, ranked second among rookie blueliners with 34 assists, 39 points and a +11 rating in 80 appearances. His 39 points were the most by a Rangers rookie defenseman since 1988-89, when Brian Leetch collected 23-48—71. Skjei’s totals included a six-game assist/point streak from Oct. 30 – Nov. 8 (0-7—7), also the longest such run by a New York rookie blueliner since Leetch in 1988-89. The 23-year-old Lakeville, Minn., native is the Rangers’ first All-Rookie Team selection since 2009-10 (Michael Del Zotto) as well as the third defenseman in franchise history to earn the distinction, following Leetch (1988-89) and Del Zotto (2009-10).
Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
Werenski, the eighth overall choice in the 2015 NHL Draft, led rookie defensemen in goals (11), assists (36) and points (47) in 78 games. He also paced all rookies with a +17 rating, while ranking in the top 10 among first-year players in power-play assists (t-1st; 17), power-play points (t-2nd; 21), assists (3rd; 36), shots on goal (5th; 188), average time on ice (5th; 20:54), points (7th; 47) and power-play goals (t-8th; 4). At age 19, Werenski registered the sixth-most points by a teenage defenseman in his rookie NHL season. He also set franchise rookie records for assists and points in one season, while collecting the second-most points by a blueliner (rookie or veteran) in club history. The Grosse Pointe, Mich., native is Columbus’ fourth All- Rookie Team selection and first since Steve Mason in 2008-09.
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets
Laine, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, ranked second among rookies with 36 goals and 64 points in 73 games – both single-season franchise records for a first-year player. He also led rookies in shooting percentage (17.6%) and shared first place in power-play goals (9), while placing in the top 10 in game-winning goals (t-3rd; 5), shots on goal (4th; 204), power-play points (6th; 14) and assists (8th; 28). Laine became the first player in NHL history to post three hat tricks prior to his 19th birthday as well as the first rookie (at any age) to notch three hat tricks in one season since 1992-93. The Tampere, Finland, native – who celebrated his 19th birthday April 19 – is the fifth All-Rookie Team selection in Jets/Thrashers history and first since Niclas Bergfors in 2009-10 (w/ ATL).
Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Marner, the fourth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, led all rookies with 42 assists and also placed among the top 10 in power-play assists (t-1st; 17), power-play points (t-2nd; 21), game-winning goals (t-3rd; 5), points (4th; 61), goals (t-7th; 19), shots on goal (7th; 176) and power-play goals (t-8th; 4) in 77 outings. His 42 assists were a Maple Leafs rookie record, eclipsing the mark set by Gus Bodnar in 1943-44 (40). Together with Auston Matthews (69) and William Nylander (61), Toronto became the second team in NHL history to have three rookies each collect at least 60 points in the same season (also 1980-81 QUE). The 20-year-old Markham, Ont., native – along with Matthews – is the first Maple Leafs All-Rookie Team selection since Jake Gardiner in 2011-12 and first Toronto forward to earn the honor since Mike Johnson in 1997-98.
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthews, the top pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, paced rookies with 40 goals and 69 points while appearing in all 82 games. His 40 goals also shared second place in the entire League, highlighted by a historic debut in which he became the first player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to score four times in his first game. The 19-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native – who set franchise rookie records for goals and points – also ranked in the top 10 among first-year players in game-winning goals (1st; 8), shots on goal (1st; 279), power-play points (t-2nd; 21), power-play goals (3rd; 8), power-play assists (4th; 13), shooting percentage (7th; 14.3%) and assists (7th; 29). Matthews and Marner make the Maple Leafs the first club with multiple All-Rookie Team selections in the same season since 2013-14, when both the Ducks (Frederik Andersen and Hampus Lindholm) and Lightning (Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat) achieved the feat.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release