Ryan McDonagh D NYR Mar 23 '78
Ryan McDonagh became a standout defenseman at the age of 22 for the Rangers in his first full season.
McDonagh will turn 23 on Wednesday, but in his second year he became one of coach John Tortorella's most trusted defensemen. He played in all 82 regular season games and the 20 in the playoffs. He collected 32 points with a plus-25 rating while averaging close to 25 minutes per game in the regular season, but played nearly 27 minutes a game in the postseason. "I didn't know what kind of role I was going to have on the team, but as the year progressed, they were playing me quite a bit," McDonagh said. "I tried to be as effective as I could and help the guys win. You didn't want to be slacking on your end of the job."