Rookie watch Bedard Zary

The impact several rookies are making on the NHL is one of the major storylines of the 2023-24 season. Each week, will examine topics related to this season's class in the Rookie Watch.

This week, and in celebration of the announcement of the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off to be held next February with teams of NHL players from Finland, Sweden, Canada and the United States, a look at eight Canada-born rookies who could be part of their country's roster (listed alphabetically):

Connor Bedard, C, Chicago Blackhawks: The No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft was named to the 2024 NHL All-Star Game but fractured his jaw on a hit from New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith in the first period of a 4-2 loss at Prudential Center on Jan. 5. The North Vancouver native had surgery three days later and is expected to be out another 3-5 weeks. Though Bedard resumed skating Jan. 15, Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said the timeline for a return remains unchanged.

The 18-year-old was a special guest passer at the NHL All-Star Skills at Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 2 and passed to Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal, and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, who won the event with 23 points.

"It's good. I mean, obviously not doing a lot but taking it all in," Bedard said. "Just watching these guys is a lot of fun. Obviously being in Toronto, a pretty big hockey market, it’s cool to see the turnout. It's fun.

"Of course, you want to be [playing in the All-Star Game], but I'm grateful to be here and I get to enjoy it."

Bedard leads the Blackhawks and all NHL rookies with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 39 games. United States-born defenseman Brock Faber of the Minnesota Wild is second (29 points; four goals, 25 assists) in 49 games. Bedard scored nine goals and had 23 points at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, each a record at the tournament.

Luke Evangelista, RW, Nashville Predators: Evangelista is fourth among Canada-born rookies with 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists), tied for third with five power-play points (one goal) and fourth with 92 shots on goal in 51 games. The 21-year-old is second with 26 takeaways and fourth in even-strength points (18).

Born in Toronto, the 21-year-old was selected in the second round (No. 42) of the 2020 NHL Draft. Evangelista plays right wing on a line with center Cody Glass and Tommy Novak and averages 13:28 of ice time.

NSH@DAL: Evangelista doubles the lead with a goal in 2nd

Adam Fantilli, C, Columbus Blue Jackets: The No. 3 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, born in Nobleton, Ontario, was effective in all areas of the ice until he sustained a calf laceration to his left leg from a skate blade during a 4-2 loss at the Seattle Kraken on Jan. 28. The Blue Jackets announced three days later that Fantilli is expected to miss eight weeks.

The 19-year-old is fourth among rookies with 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) and third with 24 even-strength points (11 goals) in 49 games. He's third in face-off wins (171) and second in offensive-zone face-off wins (70). Fantilli averages 15:43 of ice time and is tied for first among NHL centers in blocked shots (25), and sixth in hits (63) and takeaways (18). He had five points (two goals, three assists) and averaged 11:31 of ice time in seven games for first-place Canada at the 2023 WJC.

Tyson Foerster, RW Philadelphia Flyers: The 22-year-old, born in Alliston, Ontario, ranks 10th among rookies with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 52 games. Selected with the No. 23 pick in the 2020 draft, Foerster is third in takeaways (24), 10th in blocked shots (37) and 15th in hits (58) among rookies. He averages 16:54 of ice time, ranks fourth among rookie forwards in penalties drawn (14) and has been playing a middle-six role for coach John Tortorella.

The Flyers control 53.9 percent of all shots attempted at 5-on-5 when Foerster has been on the ice, best among Philadelphia rookies. His 58.1 on-ice goals-for percentage at 5-on-5 also leads Philadelphia among players with a minimum of five games.

Ridly Greig, C, Ottawa Senators: Greig, of Lethbridge, Alberta, is tied for 13th among rookies with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) and is first with a plus-19 rating in 38 games. The 21-year-old, chosen with the No. 28 pick in the 2020 draft, is 10th in hits (69), and tied for seventh among rookie forwards in blocked shots (21) and penalties drawn (12) while averaging 14:33 of ice time.

OTT@MTL: Greig buries backhand for a SHG to open scoring

Joel Hofer, G, St. Louis Blues: The 23-year-old ranks second in save percentage (.915), third in goals-against average (2.77) and third in wins (10-8-0) in 19 games (17 starts) among rookie goalies who've played at least 10 games. Selected in the fourth round (No. 107) of the 2018 NHL Draft, the Winnipeg native is one of six Canada-born rookie goalies who have played in the League this season.

Hofer is 3-0-0 with a 2.30 GAA and .939 save percentage in three games (all starts) since Jan. 16.

Kevin Korchinski, D, Chicago Blackhawks: The 19-year-old, born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is fifth among NHL rookies in average ice (19:50) in 46 games. Selected No. 7 in the 2022 NHL Draft, Korchinski is finally getting his chance after three full seasons with Seattle of the Western Hockey League. He would have been a top option for Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship but his consistency within the Blackhawks lineup changed all that. He's third in takeaways (15) and fourth in blocked shots (51) and average ice time on the power play (2:17; minimum five games) among rookie defensemen.

Connor Zary, C, Calgary Flames: The No. 24 pick in the 2020 draft has been a big surprise for the Flames this season, ranking third among Canada-born players with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 42 games. Born in Saskatoon, he's averaging 15:22 in ice time, and is second among all rookies with a plus-16 rating, first in shooting percentage (23.1; minimum 10 games) and third in points per game (0.62) behind Bedard (0.85) and Anaheim Ducks center Leo Carlsson (0.63).

Zary scored his 11th goal of the season in a 4-1 win at the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, making him the first Calgary rookie since Mark Jankowski (17 in 2017-18) to score at least 10 in one season.