It's difficult to break into the NHL and contribute right away. Most players need a year or two of experience before beginning to produce consistently, though a select few make an immediate impact.
Here are some rookies who will be fantasy difference-makers in their first NHL season:
Jack Hughes, C, Devils
Hughes will warrant a roster spot on your fantasy team this season regardless of the format.
The 2019 first overall selection has dominated at every stage early in his career, breaking Alex Ovechkin's points record at the IIHF World U18 Championship with 32 points in 14 games, and also setting a new all-time scoring mark for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Hughes should receive plenty of opportunities with the New Jersey Devils, especially on a power-play unit featuring Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, and P.K. Subban. At even strength, his ceiling will depend on which players flank each wing, but the dynamic playmaker should thrive as a fixture in the team's top-six forward group.
It would make sense for the Devils to pair Hughes with a scorer like Kyle Palmieri - a shoot-first player who's scored 24-plus goals in four straight seasons. Having two reliable duos in Hischier-Hall and Hughes-Palmieri would also help deepen the Devils' lineup. Hughes could play alongside Hall at points throughout the season, too.
Quinn Hughes, D, Canucks
Hughes is an incredible skater with excellent hockey intelligence for his age. Though it was a small sample size, the 19-year-old impressed with three assists and positive possession numbers during his five-game stint with the Canucks last season.