As expected, the trend of a high number of rookies having an immediate impact on their teams is continuing in 2017-18. The smoothness of transition for these youngsters speaks a lot to the improving talent pool across the world, which is great for the long-term health and entertainment value of the game.
After the spectacular debuts over the past two years of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Jack Eichel, Artemi Panarin, Zach Werenski and more, it appeared that this year's rookies would shine a little less brightly, or perhaps not generate the hype of their most recent predecessors. While the preseason hype train was fairly subdued in comparison, several players in this season's class have grabbed the hockey world's attention, none more so than Clayton Keller.
The 19-year-old rookie from the St. Louis area has been a scoring machine for the Arizona Coyotes. Keller's speed, skill and offensive sense has put the league on notice. His brilliance is obscured, rather notably, by the disastrous start for the Coyotes. Amid a putrid 2-15-3 record, Keller is giving fans in the desert something worth watching.