A total of 49 rookies took the ice on opening night, up slightly from 41 a year ago.
A variety of rookies began their respective careers abroad. Though neither team had any rookies dress on opening night a year ago, the Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild iced a combined five rookies in Helsinki. Rookies for the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks opened their careers in Stockholm, and freshman members of the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyoyes did the same in Prague.
Six 2010 draft choices jumped straight into the NHL, headlined by top pick Taylor Hall in Edmonton. Hall is part of a highly-touted trio of rookie Oilers, along with Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi. In Edmonton’s opener, Eberle made his presence felt with a highlight reel goal and an assist.
Fellow members of the 2010 draft class, second overall pick Tyler Seguin debuted for the Bruins. As did Nino Niederreiter for the New York Islanders, Jeff Skinner for the Hurricanes, Alexander Burmistrov for the Atlanta Thrashers, and Cam Fowler for the Anaheim Ducks. All were taken in the first round. In addition, fourteen other former first-rounders premiered: Tyler Ennis, Mikael Backlund, Nick Leddy, Nikita Filatov, Jonathan Bernier, Brayden Schenn, Lars Eller, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Pietrangelo, Jonathan Carlson, Marcus Johansson, and the aforementioned Eberle and Paajarvi.
Six rookies taken in the fifth round or later dressed on opening night: Chicago’s Jake Dowell, Colorado’s Mark Olver, Pittsburgh’s Deryk Engelland, San Jose’s Frazer McLaren and Tommy Wingels, and Mike Vernace for Tampa Bay.
Likewise, five undrafted rookies: New Jersey’s Matt Taormina, Phoenix’s David Schlemko, Pittsburgh’s Mark Letestu, and most notably, Philadelphia’s Sergei Bobrovsky. An offseason free agent signing, the Russian netminder started between the pipes in the Philadelphia Flyers‘s first game of the year, earning a solid win.
Nine NHL teams unveiled two rookies; seven teams three; ten teams one. The Carolina Hurricanes debuted more rookies than any other team. They debuted four. Three teams — Dallas, Detroit, and Florida — did not debut any rookies on opening night.
Below is a complete list of the rookies who took the ice on opening night for each NHL team.
Anaheim: Cam Fowler
Atlanta: Alexander Burmistrov
Boston: Tyler Seguin
Buffalo: Tyler Ennis
Colorado: Mark Olver
Columbus: Nikita Filatov
Nashville: Anders Lindback
St. Louis: Alex Pietrangelo
Tampa Bay: Dana Tyrell, Mike Vernace