Here's the season's current rookie goal scoring derby, as of Jan 1st, 2008:
I like Jonathan Toews a lot. I think there's a very good chance he'll be on Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics. He's got a laser of a shot, not unlike Joe Sakic. In fact, I see a lot of Sakic in young Toews.
Mr. Toews impressive rookie season is far from the best hockey has seen, however. That is more of a statement of how the game has changed in the last 15 years as opposed to about Toews himself. Toews is on pace for 33 goals in his inaugural campaign, or at least prior to today's news about a knee injury. As solid as 33 goals would be, it is hard to believe that 33 goals wouldn't even get him half way to the NHL rookie record.
Teemu Selanne tore apart the NHL rookie scoring record book. The seasoned 22 year old joined the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93, and proceeded to obliterate Mike Bossy's record of 53 goals by a rookie. Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull and Mark Messier couldn't topple that mark, but Selanne unthinkably bettered the mark by another 23 tallies. That's right: the rookie scored 76 goals in his debut.
Selanne was something else. He was the machine gun goal scorer and a skater so fast he was nicknamed the Finnish Flash. He would battle a lot of injuries over his career, but there have been few better goal scorers than this former kindergarten teacher.
Teemu Selanne is the most recent addition to Greatest Hockey Legends.com, complete with a nice YouTube tribute.
A lot of fans ask me why I don't include active players. I figure there's enough coverage on most of them, so I exploit the niche market of retired stars instead. Selanne still hasn't officially retired, and there is a chance he will return this season in time for another playoff run with the Anaheim Ducks. I'm betting he won't, but you never know. Teemu Selanne may just be the first active greatest hockey legend.