The excitement over the play of those rookies starring in the National Hockey League from the 2013 draft class has certainly been a major talking point this season, but don't overlook the sudden impact exhibited by several first-round picks chosen just one year earlier.
There were actually two first-round selections in the 2012 draft who spent a full season with their respective teams immediately after being selected – Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers and Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens. Both players, coincidentally, spent their major-junior career as linemates for the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League.
Yakupov, the No. 1 pick in the draft, finished fifth in the voting for the Calder Trophy last season as the NHL’s rookie of the year. Galchenyuk, the No. 3 pick, was ninth in the voting.