This week, a look at some top rookies capable of playing physical while generating offense:
1. Sam Lafferty, F, Pittsburgh Penguins: Injuries to forwards Evgeni Malkin (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Bryan Rust (upper body) and Alex Galchenyuk (lower body), have given the 24-year-old a chance to prove his ability. Lafferty, who was selected by Pittsburgh in the fourth round (No. 113) of the 2014 NHL Draft, has five points (three goals, two assists), 13 shots and 14 hits in seven games. He is also tied for third among rookies to play at least five games in face-offs at 50 percent (30-for-60).
2. Alexandre Texier, F, Columbus Blue Jackets: The second-round pick (No. 45) in the 2017 NHL Draft has two points (one goal, one assist), 13 shots and eight hits in eight games playing in a top-six role with center Alexander Wennberg and right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand. The Blue Jackets control 56.73 percent of all shots attempted with the 20-year-old left wing on the ice.