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

4. Nick Daicos

All eyes were on Nick Daicos as he stepped out onto Marvel Stadium for the first time in his AFL career. The young midfielder had incredibly high expectations to meet in his debut game for the black and white, and he didn’t disappoint.

Starting on the half-back flank, Daicos lived up to the hype and delivered an excellent first game in the convincing Collingwood win.


The 19-year-old had 27 disposals working with 70% accuracy, while also having five marks and four tackles, outshining many of his more experienced teammates.