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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

... 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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