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NHL: Best rookie seasons

Every year the NHL welcomes a host of exciting rookies into the league with many making an immediate impact.

This season is no different with several players bursting onto the scene including Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken who is living up to his +350 tag to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year by leading all rookies in points (eight; four goals, four assists).

But who had the greatest ever rookie seasons? We take a look:

Teemu Selanne, Winnipeg Jets (1992/93)

Hall of famer Teemu Selanne holds the record for most points (132) and goals (76) in a rookie season for the Winnipeg Jets in 1992/93.

Drafted in the first round, 10th overall by the Jets in 1988, Selanne retired from the NHL in 2014 after scoring 1,457 points (684 goals, 773 assists) in 1,451 regular season games.

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The "Finnish Flash" won the Stanley Cup once with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006/07 and collected several individual awards including the Calder Memorial Trophy for his 1992/93 season.

Selanne helped the Jets to a 40-37-7 record which ranked fourth in the Smythe Division and was named a first All-Star.

His 76 goals through the campaign still ranks joint-fifth of all-time in a single season. Selanne spent four seasons with the Jets before he was traded to the Ducks in 1995.

Mike Bossy, New York Islanders (1977/78)

The rookie goal-scoring record which Selanne beat in 1993 was Mike Bossy's 53 goals (in 73 games) for the New York Islanders which was set in 1977/78.

Drafted in the first-round, 15th overall, Bossy went on to score 50-plus goals in each of the next eight seasons and was a major reason for the Islanders winning four straight Stanley Cups between 1979/80 and 1982/83.

Bossy won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1978 helping the Islanders to first place in the Patrick Division.

The dangerous winger's career was cut short through injury but he still finished with an astounding 573 goals in 752 games and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings (1950/51)

Terry Sawchuk's rookie season for the Detroit Red Wings in 1950/51 is arguably the greatest ever by a netminder.

Playing every minute of Detroit's 70 regular seasons games, the 5'11" goalie had a league best 44-13-13 record with 11 shutouts and a remarkable 1.97 goals-against-average.

He was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy and named a first team All-Star.

In the following years, Sawchuk would go on to win both the Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie four times and was a seven-time all-star.

Sawchuk played for five NHL teams in total but is primarily known for his dominance with the Red Wings who retired his number one jersey number in 1994. He retired in 1970 with a 2.50 career GAA and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as one of the best goalies to ever play the game a year later.

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (2005/06)

Selected first overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL entry draft, Alexander Ovechkin enjoyed one of the greatest rookie seasons in recent times scoring 52 goals in 81 games to win the Calder Memorial Trophy over Sidney Crosby who tallied 102 points in his debut season for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

No fewer than 21 of Ovechkin's goals came on the powerplay and he added 54 assists to lead all rookies in scoring with 106 points. No rookie has scored more than 50 goals since Ovechkin who is now chasing Wayne Gretzy's all-time NHL goal scoring record.

In 1,282 regular season games so far, the "great-eight" has scored 783 regular season goals which is 111 short of Gretzy's 894 record (in 1,487 games).

Now 37, Ovechkin has won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal scorer nine times and was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2017/18 as he led the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (2005/06)

Only a mind-boggling season by Ovechkin denied Crosby the Calder Trophy on a CV which has three Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythe Trophies and two Hart Memorial Trophies as the league's most valuable player amongst other awards.

Now 35, and Captain of the Penguins, Crosby was drafted first overall in 2005 and has lived up to every bit of his billing.

In his debut season, Crosby scored 102 points (39 goals, 63 assists) which trailed Ovechkin by just four points and, like the Russian, changed the fortunes of his team's franchise almost overnight.

In 1,115 regular season games, the Canadian centre has amassed 1,420 points (521 goals, 899 assists) and is widely considered to be one of the best players of all-time.

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