Round 1 of the new season introduced the league to a bunch of fresh faces as many rookies made their long-awaited debut.
From draftees to mature-aged recruits, these new players were thrown right into the thick of things from the get-go. The first round of the 2022 season was more than eventful, and had plenty to offer in terms of action and drama, meaning the debutants needed to step up if they wanted to stand out amongst the league's best. And that they did. But which rookies stood out the most?
For our power ranking, we are taking a look at players who have only just made their debut this season. Other players who may still be eligible for a Rising Star nomination but have already made their debut previously will not be considered.
Round 1 Honourable Mentions:
Connor MacDonald (Hawthorn) - 16 disposals, 6 contested possessions, three marks
Jackson Mead - (Port Adelaide) - 10 disposals, two marks, three tackles
Kaine Baldwin - (Essendon) - seven disposals, three marks
Angus Sheldrick - (Sydney - eight disposals, one mark
5. Jason Horne-Francis
The number one draft pick showed glimpses of what he is capable of in his debut against Hawthorn. Playing in the forward line, Horne-Francis looked incredibly strong on the ball, holding his own against some of the Hawks' bigger-bodied players. He also showcased his quick thinking and goal-scoring prowess with an impressive snap around the body in the second quarter.
Horne-Francis finished his first game with 13 disposals, six score involvements and three marks, standing out as one of the better players in a lacklustre North squad.