Rookies boost Devils, not Bruins, in standings –

The Toronto Maple Leafs improved by 26 points in the standings from 2015-16 to 2016-17, due in large part to the contributions of rookies Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev, Zach Hyman and others. Could the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins or Los Angeles Kings receive a similar boost this season?

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Last season, Toronto’s nine rookies combined for 304 points (123 goals, 181 assists).

This season, Devils rookies have combined to score 61 points (18 goals, 43 assists) in 27 games and are on pace for 185 points (54 goals, 130 assists) in 82 games.

Through 25 games, Bruins rookies have combined for 59 points (21 goals, 38 assists) and are on pace for 193 points (69 goals, 124 assists).

The primary difference between these two teams is that the Devils have received that production from four rookies — forwards Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt and Blake Coleman, and defenseman Will Butcher — and the Bruins have used eight.

Three of the Devils’ top four scorers are rookies. Hischier, their second-leading scorer, has 20 points (five goals, 15 assists); Bratt has 19 (nine goals, 10 assists); and Butcher has 18 (two goals, 16 assists). Coleman has four points (two goals, three assists). Each of the four has played all 27 games.

Video: [email protected]: Hischier buries quick shot from the slot

The rookies have had a positive impact on the Devils’ special teams. Butcher is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen with 10 power-play points and has helped lift the Devils to a power-play percentage of 21.4 percent, which ranks 10th in the League; New Jersey was 22nd last season at 17.5 percent. Shorthanded, Coleman averages 2:13 per game and Bratt averages

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