Liam Dawson (Brisbane Lions)
His first game at senior level, and Dawson showed why the Lions were so keen to snap him up through the academy bidding process. After missing an easy set shot early in the game, the rangy half-forward settled in well. Didn't have big numbers, but the 19-year-old snapped a clever goal, showed clean hands and was composed. Maybe not round one, but he'll likely get a shot at some stage this season. - Michael Whiting

Jason Ashby (Essendon)
Ashby started his third season of AFL in encouraging touch, with a polished display across half-back for the Bombers against St Kilda on Saturday. After playing five games last season, Ashby might be set for a regular spot if his early showings and pre-season are any indication. He reads the game well, is reliable when in possession and can also shut down opponents. He has enjoyed his first full pre-season, too, which will hold him in good stead. - Callum Twomey

Matt Taberner (Fremantle)
Taberner impressed many with his finish to last season. He won a NAB Rising Star nomination in round 22 against the Brisbane Lions and performed well against Hawthorn and Port Adelaide in games either side of that. But he was extremely quiet in the finals series and the question remained if he could become the consistent tall forward Fremantle need to alleviate the burden on Matthew Pavlich's shoulders. He answered that against Melbourne with an eye-catching display. Taberner is an elite runner and he worked tirelessly gathering 14 possessions, taking four marks and kicking three goals. - Alex Malcolm

Jack Leslie (Gold Coast)
Given the big job on Giants forward Jeremy Cameron he performed well, sticking to his task and breaking square in many one-on-ones. His efforts drew praise from the coach and his performance will give him confidence he belongs at this level. He looked very raw when he made his debut late last season but in the absence of Steven May and Rory Thompson he had a lot on his plate and he stood up. Leslie might not be the most talked about Jack on the list but he is an emerging player. Keeping Cameron to one goal is no mean feat. - Peter Ryan

Nick Haynes (Greater Western Sydney)
Had no luck with injury breaking his ankle in 2014 but he looks ready to flourish in 2015. Haynes is an exciting defender who will benefit from Joel Patfull's presence allowing him to play on the third most dangerous forward. He is creative, courageous and even managed to float forward and kick a goal during the second quarter. Haynes emerged late as a junior and was something of a surprise selection at No.7 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft. After three years and 27 games he will be talked about in 2015. Against the Giants he took nine marks and had 15 disposals. - Peter Ryan

Billy Hartung (Hawthorn)
The second-year Hawk was quiet in the first half against the Roos, but after North hit the front in the third term Hartung gave Hawthorn the spark it needed. Blessed with speed and endurance, the young Hawk buzzed around the midfield like the Energiser Bunny, bursting clear of North opponents like they were standing still and pumping the Hawks into attack on several occasions. Hartung finished the game with just 13 possessions and three inside 50s, but once he starts to have an impact more consistently you sense Hawthorn will have another star on its hands. - Nick Bowen

Ben Newton (Melbourne)
Many of the headlines from Melbourne's first NAB Challenge match concerned the impressive performance of new recruit Heritier Lumumba. But Newton's display in just a half of football is worthy of note. Newton joined the Demons after just four games in three seasons at Port Adelaide. He kicked a goal and gathered 13 touches in the first half against the Dockers before sustaining a cut to his head and getting subbed at half-time. Newton knows how to the find the football and adds valuable depth to the Demons midfield. Looks a very good acquisition. - Alex Malcolm

Mason Wood (North Melbourne)
Wood had his first touch against the Hawks with a mark in North's defensive 50, then later in the first quarter took a strong pack mark in North's forward 50. He missed that shot but made up for it with a classy left-foot conversion not long after. As North coach Brad Scott said after the game, Wood gives North a different dimension with his rare mix of height (192cm) and elite endurance. The third-year utility spent time on the wing on Sunday and it might be easier for him to force his way into North's team there rather than in attack given the Roos' deep tall forward stocks. Whatever the case, Wood, who played his one and only AFL game against Melbourne in round 23 last year, looks set to play more senior football in 2015. - Nick Bowen

Andrew Moore (Port Adelaide)
The big-bodied midfielder has been around for a while, but injury has largely held him back after he was selected by Port Adelaide with pick No.9 at the 2009 NAB AFL Draft. He's proven his ability as an inside midfielder but it was his outside game that was a highlight against West Coast – capped by an impressive supergoal in the final quarter. Moore has the class to finish on the outside and proved so at Norwood Oval, winning 12 uncontested possessions (17 overall) at 77 per cent efficiency. - Harry Thring

Jack Lonie (St Kilda)
The game at Morwell never reached great heights, but Lonie made sure there was still reasons to watch in the fourth term. The first-year Saint, picked at No.41 at the NAB AFL Draft, added plenty of zip late in the game. He finished with 17 disposals and a goal, but also set up a few others with his crafty left-foot kicking. What Lonie lacks in size he makes up for in creativity, and he is pushing for a berth in St Kilda's round one team against Greater Western Sydney. - Callum Twomey

Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans)
After all the talk about the Swans' most hyped academy product, we all got our first look at the blonde-haired midfielder at senior level - and he didn't disappoint. Despite playing restricted minutes after an interrupted pre-season, Heeney collected 14 disposals, and showed a willingness to put his body on the line and attack the contested ball. Stand-in coach John Blakey was pleased with Heeney's outing, and despite the Swans' depth, he has to be right in the frame to see action early in the premiership season. - Michael Whiting

Tom Lamb (West Coast)
Having booted the opening four goals of the game on Sunday, Port Adelaide looked ready to decimate West Coast at Norwood Oval. But the Eagles were sparked by draftee Lamb, whose attack on the football led to a number of strong marks and a goal. With his Dyson Heppell-like blond dreadlocks, Lamb isn't easy to overlook, but it was his work-rate that allowed him to shine against the Power. He finished with 14 possessions, six marks and a goal in a display that suggests he won't take long to feel comfortable at the top level. - Harry Thring