In what may eventually be remembered as the NHL's "Year of the Rookie," 2016's top two overall draft picks, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, are neck-and-neck in an exciting rookie goal-scoring race.
As the calendar year comes to a close, Winnipeg's Laine currently has the lead with 19 goals in 37 games, followed closely by Toronto's Matthews with 17 goals in 34 games. Which rookie will score the most goals in the 2017 portion of the season?
Based on an informal Twitter poll of 497 fans, 68 percent believe that Laine will score the most goals the rest of the way, 22 percent believe it will be Matthews and 10 percent believe it will be a rookie from the field, like Jimmy Vesey of the Rangers, or one of Matthews teammates, Mitch Marner or William Nylander.
Which rookie will score more goals from this point until the end of 2016-17?
Laine currently has 17, Matthews 11, Vesey 9, Marner 7
- Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) December 10, 2016
Let's take a closer look at each of these three possibilities.