Here's SI special contributor Pierre McGuire's ranking of the NHL's top 15 rookies in terms of how he rates their long-term prospects.
1. Brad Stuart, D, 20, Sharks: Rangy (6'2", 210 pounds); will become offensive powerhouse because of slick passing and heavy, accurate shot; needs to work on transition defense; may be Norris Trophy candidate some day.
2. David Legwand, C, 19, Predators: Excellent speed; creates scoring chances off rush; needs to get stronger and show more second effort when in scoring position down low.
3. Patrik Stefan, C, 19, Thrashers: Total package; strong on puck, can beat defenders one-on-one; not afraid to take hit to make a play; health worrisome because of three concussions he suffered before reaching NHL.
4. Scott Gomez, C, 19, Devils: Tremendous hockey sense and passing skills; though a bit short (5'11"), is thick-bodied and always in position; makes players around him better; deceptively quick skater who worked hard to improve marginal shot.
5. Martin Biron, G, 19, Sabres: Keeps shooters guessing by using butterfly and stand-up styles; remains calm in the net; seems to play better in pressure situations.
6. Simon Gagne, C, 19, Flyers: Solid two-way player; impressive competitiveness; eventually will be used in match-up situations and be expected to win those match-ups against top players.
7. Peter Schaefer, LW, 22, Canucks: Not big (5'11", 195 pounds) but smart; ability to read play makes him fantastic penalty killer; rare young player skilled enough to run power play from the point.
8. Jiri Fischer, D, 19, Red Wings: Moves puck so efficiently out of zone that opponents can't forecheck him; plays physical game; overpowering shot and quick release sets him apart.
9. Marc Denis, G, 22, Avalanche: Big-time competitor; plays angles aggressively; needs to be more alert when the play is behind the net and goal line.