After doing a fair amount of research, i feel that i have a good handle on the current state of NHL Rookie Cards.
Let me start with saying that "The Cup" is hands down, "the best RC" that anyone will have available from 2005 onward. That being said, there are other options for people that want to collect NHL Rookie Cards, but dont have a huge bankroll to do so.
If oncard auto RCs are your thing, but you dont have pockets for The Cup, then i suggest SP Authentic. They're numbered to 999, so there are a nice amount of the to go around. They can get a bit pricey depending on the player(s) you want.
If you want a nice looking Rookie Card, but do not require an auto, and/or individually numbered cards, then i suggest going with "Young Guns". With all the super premium wax being released each year, UD Series 1 and 2 remain one of the (if not THE) most popularly collected sets across the Hobby. That's probably why Young Guns rookie cards are considered by so many to be the most popular rookie cards made. They are readily available, not TOO pricey (debateable) and on top of all that, they LOOK FANTASTIC, featuring an on-ice action shot. The colors just pop on most of them.
Im a big fan :)
There are other brands as well that have a nice assortment of RCs in them, but honestly the above sets have a long running tradition of quality/history that will continue for the foreseeable future.