SPORTS
10/09/2013 05:45 pm ET | Updated Oct 09, 2013

NHL Rookies To Watch: Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon Among This Year's Top Newcomers (PHOTOS)

AP

The NHL season opened last week and presumably no one is itching to show what they can do on the ice more than 2013's class of first-year skaters.

Some rookies will be fighting for bigger roles as they move up the depth chart. Others will struggle to stay afloat before shipping back to the minors.

Check out these 10 key players that will be battling to grab this year's Calder Trophy.

  • 1 Seth Jones, D, Nashville Predators
    Getty Images
    2013 NHL Draft, 4th overall Jones is already logging significant ice time just two games into his rookie season. He could be a staple alongside blueliner stud Shea Weber sooner rather than later.
  • 2 Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche
    Getty Images
    2013 NHL Draft, 1st overall Four assists in his first three NHL games isn't a bad start. He'll be a good addition on a team with young scorers.
  • 3 Torey Krug, D, Boston Bruins
    AP
    2010, Undrafted Krug appeared in 15 games in the 2013 postseason but has only suited up in three regular season contests with Boston prior to the 2013-14 campaign, so he is still a rookie in the eyes of the league. The 22-year-old contributed with six points in the playoffs last year and has already tallied two points in the first two games this season.
  • 4 Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers
    Getty Images
    2013 NHL Draft, 2nd overall In his first NHL game, the Finnish-Russian became the youngest player in the NHL to score a goal at just 18 years and 32 days old.
  • 5 Mark Scheifele, C, Winnipeg Jets
    AP
    2011 NHL Draft, 7th overall Scheifele's has been touted as Winnipeg's No. 1 center of the future after three 60+ point seasons in the OHL.
  • 6 Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Dallas Stars
    Getty Images
    2013 NHL Draft, 10th overall Nichushkin is a big right wing with KHL experience who might have the skills to be a top six forward. The Russian tallied a goal in the preseason and was rewarded with 20 minutes of ice time in his NHL debut from coach Lindy Ruff.
  • 7 Tomas Hertl, C, San Jose Sharks
    AP
    2012 NHL Draft, 17th overall Hertl notched four goals in his third NHL game ever, bringing his point total to seven throughout his first three NHL appearances.
  • 8 Ryan Murray, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
    Getty Images
    2012 NHL Draft, 2nd overall There's been a lot of hype for Murray even before an injury kept him out of the shortened season last year, but he won't be the only talented rookie on the Blue Jackets' roster. He'll have to fight for a top six spot now that the blueline in Columbus isn't as thin as it used to be.
  • 9 Filip Forsberg, C, Nashville Predators
    Getty Images
    2012 NHL Draft, 11th overall Nashville acquired Forsberg in a trade with Washington to help add offensive firepower to the Preds and he'll be looking for a spot on the second or third line after a strong preseason.
  • 10 Sean Monahan, C, Calgary Flames
    Getty Images
    2013 NHL Draft, 6th overall Monahan is proving that he wants to be the center the Flames need with three points in his first two NHL games. While he isn't a lock to stay in the league this year, he is off to a strong start and needs to keep producing.

CONVERSATIONS