Who Had The Best Rookie Season in Phoenix Coyotes History? The Final Round

Rich Lam

The final round of the best rookie season in Coyotes history tournament is finally here.

It's all come down to this. A forward versus a defenseman. Two rookie seasons, two years apart.

The votes have been cast and the results have placed the top two seeds in the final round. It will be Peter Mueller, representing the best rookie season by a Phoenix Coyotes forward, against Keith Ballard, representing the best rookie season by a Coyotes defenseman.

As per usual, the voting will be open for 48 hours and the winner of the match-up will be announced via FFH's Facebook and Twitter.

The tournament comes down to this! Who had the best rookie season in Coyotes history?

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As the final round is now under way, let's take a look back at the arguments for the two best rookies in Coyotes history, according to you, the readers.

Case for Ballard

Ballard's first NHL minutes came during the first season after the full-season lockout. Unlike most rookies, Ballard played all 82 games in his rookie season, a feat that only one other Coyote on this list accomplished.

The former first round pick is the only defenseman on this list, yet he scored his fair share of points. The 2005-2006 season saw Ballard score eight goals and 39 points including 20 points on special teams (STP: 16 power play points and 4 short-handed points). His rookie year still stands as the best offensive year of his career.

As a 23-year-old rookie, Ballard played mostly on the Coyotes' third defensive pairing, providing a solid two-way game.

GP G A P STP SOG
82 8 31 39 20 102

Case for Mueller

When Mueller entered the NHL in 2007, he instantly made an offensive impact. Mueller leads all rookies on this list in goals, assists, points, shots and special teams points. He played in all but one game his rookie season, scoring 22 goals and 54 points.

The former first rounder has not been able to replicate the success he had in his rookie season; a season which still holds his career highs in every major statistical category.

GP G A P STP SOG FO%
81 22 32 54 22 201 41.8%
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