Rookie Watch: Who Will Take Home the Calder?
Year after year the NHL showcases several first-year players who have been outstanding for their team. The fast pace, high flying rookies are always healthy for an organisation. They get fans excited to watch games and compliment the veteran talent already existing within a club. This season has been jam packed with young talent with no clear front runner for the winner of the rookie of the year award. Let’s look and see who has the best chance to take home the prize at mid-season break.
2015 – Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
2016 – Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
2017 – Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
*Sidney Crosby & Connor McDavid never won the Calder Trophy*
Current Points (courtesy of nhl.com) -http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?reportType=season&seasonFrom=20172018&seasonTo=20172018&gameType=2&experience=1&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,1&sort=points,goals,assists
Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders – GP 46, G 16 A 31 P 47
Canadian kid with ample exposure through his participation at the National level. Barzal has found his stride on Long Island and is looking like the front runner for this years coveted award. On a point per game pace, which no rookie has done in recent years, and driving his team to a post season berth is not easy when you are 20 years old. Not to mention a few 5-point nights and some big game winners to add to his Calder application.
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks – GP 42, G 22 A 18 P 40
On pace to pot 40 goals… this kid is making moves in Vancouver. Not to mention the injury of line mate Bo Horvat who has not suited up since December 5th. Can Boeser continue this goal production and snag the award from the New York Islanders opponent Mathew Barzal?
Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes – GP 46, G 14 A 20 P 34
One of the lone bright spots coming out of the desert this season. This guy deserves more credit for his production coming from one of the worst team seasons put together by the Coyotes. Clayton got out of the gate at the most blistering pace, but as of late has dropped off and has let other rookies enter the race talks.
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning – GP 44 G 8 A 18 P 26
With the injury to Hedman, look for the Lightning to rely even more upon their stud of a defensemen. An off-season trade that has seem to pay dividends at the mid way point through the season.
Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins – GP 42, G 5 A 19 P 24
We saw flashes of greatness from this kid in last years playoffs, looks like he has transitioned this into his first official full season in the league. The aging of Chara has seen McAvoy play a substantially larger role this season. McAvoy also leads all rookies with average ice time with over 22 minutes per game.
*Will Butcher, New Jersey Devils – GP 43, G 2 A 24 P 26
*Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils – GP 43, G 8 A 19 P 27