A pair of American defensemen were named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team as Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes and Jake Gardiner of the Toronto Maple Leafs were acknowledged for their stellar freshmen seasons.
Faulk made a successful transition to the NHL from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he captured an NCAA national championship in 2010-11. He made the Hurricanes roster as a 19-year-old and went on to lead all NHL rookie defensemen in average ice time per game (22:50). He also tied for the lead in goals (eight) and ranked first in power-play goals (five). He was also a member of the U.S. National Team that competed at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, where he tallied four goals and four assists in eight games.
Gardiner made his NHL debut following three standout seasons at the University of Wisconsin and a brief late-season stint with the AHL's Toronto Marlies in 2010-11. He led NHL rookie defensemen in scoring, tallying 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 75 games.