Before you get through this item and start cursing my name for leaving out Tuuka Rask and Jimmy Howard, I'm only including skaters. Rask was wonderful in the first round against Boston, and if he had of played more games this year, would have received more consideration for the Calder Trophy. Jimmy Howard is up for the Rookie of the year, and hasn't seen that much of a dip in his first post season action. Both guys have been great, but here are 5 skaters who have made impacts.
After a season where he was named AHL's top freshman, Ennis didn't miss a beat after joining the Sabres. He scored once, added 3 assists in the Sabres first round loss. He was also plus 1, took 20 shots and played over 17 minutes a game. Ennis showed his size wasn't a factor and played hard every shift. While the other and bigger Tyler led the way in Buffalo during the regular season, Ennis was great in the post season.
On a team where Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly stole the headlines this year, Brandon Yip quietly had a terrific post season. With 2 goals and 2 assists he chipped in for the Avs after entering the playoffs with just one point in his final 10 games. The future is very bright for the Avs with all their young bucks.
Regin played just 11 games for the Sens last year but was a mainstay this season playing 75 games and potting 29 points. He came alive in the post season though notching 4 points in 6 games, 3 of them goals. The Dane gives the Sens another option on their top line next year.
The first Carlson on our list, the Caps blueliner is having a wild year. He was in Hershey when the Caps lent him to the US for the WJC where he scored the golden goal. Now he's playing more then 20 minutes with Washington and is plus 7 with 4 points in 6 games. I often wondered why Carlson wasn't ranked higher in his draft year and afterwards how he slipped so far. Now I think others are thinking the same thing.
Had he not injured his shoulder Karlsson might have been mentioned more for the Calder, but he's been the best rookie so far in the playoffs, and might have been the top rear guard for the Senators in the post season. He played over 25 minutes a game and leads all players in points with 6. Now we see why the Sens didn't let him go to the WJC, he might have been to good for it.
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