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The best (?) Panini sketch cards of the 2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase (PHOTOS)

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

Every August, some of the NHL's top rookies and up-and-comers head to Toronto for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. It's two days of media availabilities, signings and photo ops for sports card companies like Panini America -- a company that gives players the chance to show off their artistic abilities, too.

[Watch: NHLer in Europe jumps into opponent's bench to avoid penalty]

You might remember Dustin Byfuglien's boat picture, which was made much more comical with his BWI arrest last summer. This year was no exception.

Here … we … go …

Carter Ashton, Toronto Maple Leafs

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Golfing scenes are pretty prevalent in the rookies' drawings. Here, Ashton has displayed a pair of golfers walking toward a lay-up of a putt. But we can't help but be distracted by the mangled bodies of the two-some who were likely playing ahead of them on the back of the golf cart.

Chris Kreider, New York Rangers

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If there were a breakout star of this exercise it was Kreider. If this hockey thing doesn't work out, he can certainly find work as a courtroom sketch artist or someone that can turn you into a centaur as a Jersey Shore cartoonist. Aside from his drawings of the Beanpot and Boston College's NCAA men's hockey trophies, here's his self-portrait featuring four teeth, Anthony Davis-esque unibrow and glasses.

Greg Nemisz, Calgary Flames

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Here's Nemisz during an incredibly inaccurate putt. Not pictured: Him firing his caddy for the horrible read on the green and adding him to the collection on the back of Carter Ashton's golf cart.

Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues

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Schwartz is from Saskatchewan, so he's a big Rough Riders fan. This photo also sums up the Rough Riders' 8-10 CFL season. We're not sure what that thing on the left is, so we'll just pretend it's a box of pilsner. Yes, we said box.

Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues

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Another golf one, but at least Allen dressed up this long Par 3 with some color and detail. At first look, it appears to be a tropical setting. On second look, it also appears to be some sort of big boss you'd meet in Legend of Zelda; some kind of tapeworm lioness.

Reilly Smith, Dallas Stars

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Smith would fit in with the minimalist crowd. Kudos for drawing the southern border of Texas accurately, especially the part that looks like it's eating Mexico like a churro.

Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche

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This is a relaxing scene of Barrie lying beach side underneath a frayed palm tree, as a spiky fireball is headed his way. He's probably daydreaming, though...

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... of this stick-figure skate park fantasy. Don't quite recall Airborne looking like this. Props for including a lady in a dress on the halfpipe. Or a cross-dressing dude. Either way, it's very progressive.

Check out the rest of the cards the Knight's Lance blog. (SB Nation's Jon Bois did a great post about the drawing skills of some NFL rookies.)

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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