Mantha, Tkachuk making marks in impressive rookie class

Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today Sports

While the spotlight has shone brightest on Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and Mitch Marner this season (and for good reason), two other rookies are placing their names among those first-year forward stars as of late.

A Mantha among boys

Since Dec. 1, Detroit Red Wings winger Anthony Mantha sits in a tie for second in goals among rookies, sandwiched between the two Calder Trophy front-runners.

Player Games Goals
Auston Matthews 16 11
Anthony Mantha 17 8
Patrik Laine 17 8

Seven of those goals, it should be noted, have come in his past eight games.

Mantha is no stranger to goal-scoring, and expectations were high after he scored 81 in 81 games for the QMJHL's Val d'Or Foreurs during the 2013-14 season (regular season and playoffs combined).

As is the Red Wings way, he's been brought along slowly with extended time in the AHL, but after recording eight goals in 10 games to start the season with Grand Rapids, he's finally getting an opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level, and clearly succeeding.

Overall, he's tied with Jimmy Vesey for third in rookie goal scoring with 11, 10 back of Matthews and Laine, but in far fewer games played.

Streaking Tkachuk

With an assist in Saturday's win over Vancouver, Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk extended his personal point streak to nine games, recording one goal and 10 assists in that time.

Dating back to Dec. 1, Tkachuk ranks third in total points by a rookie, behind only a pair of familiar names:

Player Games Points
Patrik Laine 17 18
Auston Matthews 16 17
Matthew Tkachuk 16 15

Tkachuk was selected sixth overall at the 2016 NHL Draft, and is proving to have been well worth keeping around instead of sending back to the OHL, where he recorded 107 points in 57 games for the London Knights last season.

With the streak still going, Tkachuk has risen to a tie with Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski for fifth in rookie points with 25.

So while Matthews, Laine, and Marner garner most of the attention as Calder-worthy forwards, this year's class is proving to be exceptionally deep.

Mantha, Tkachuk making marks in impressive rookie class
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