With the Florida’s season over, 21-year-old forward Nick Bjugstad has secured his spot in the record books, although the Panthers might wish that he hadn’t.
Bjugstad was the team’s leading scoring with 38 points in 76 games. That makes him the first rookie to ever lead the organization in points.
Of course, that’s only possible because his competition set the bar so low. Which leads us to the other record he broke. As we mentioned earlier this week, the all-time worst team scoring leader in an 82-game season recorded 39 points. Or at least that was the case on Friday.
Scott Pellerin was the old record holder when he had 39 points in 58 games with the Minnesota Wild during their 2000-01 expansion season.
“I did what I could do this season and it is what it is as far as the record goes,” said Bjugstad, per the Miami Herald.
“It’s not one you think of very often so I hope it stays pretty deep in the books. … It’s not an honor obviously, but it’s my rookie year. I did my best and I learned a lot.”
Although his name will be associated with the dubious distinction, this record was really a team effort. The fault doesn’t lie with the rookie that got 38 points.
Tallon: ‘I’ve got to do a better job’
Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.
Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.
Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.
The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.
It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.
That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.
“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”
Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.
“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.
“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”
Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.
As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.
He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.
His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.
Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.