The Hockey News’ Mike Brophy writes a very preliminary guess as to the front runners for the Calder Trophy, awarded yearly for the league’s best rookie. Brophy concedes that it’s still very early in the season, but based on what he’s seen over the first three weeks, he lists some players to watch as the year progresses. Some names Brophy highlights:
- Toronto Maple Leafs forward and #1 overall pick in 2016 Auston Matthews leads the pack, turning in a four goal performance in his first NHL game and following that up with being second overall in league scoring with 10 points (6-4). Linemate William Nylander is right behind him, with four goals and nine points in seven games.
- Teammate Mitch Marner is also an early candidate, notching a goal and six points in seven games.
- Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine has eight points (6-2) in seven games and is showing that he was absolutely worthy of the second overall pick in the 2016 draft.
- Jimmy Vesey, the focus of nearly every team this summer as a free agent out of college, has proven the Rangers right so far. Vesey had four goals (4-1) in seven games thus far.
- Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski had two goals and five points in just six games, being a bright spot on what has started out as a disappointing start for the Jackets.
Regardless of who wins, Brophy talks of how the injection of youth in the league is hopefully leading to another wave of talent. Further, Brophy talks about how the excitement of the player’s speed, and skill could hopefully bring back the excitement that Brophy feels has been missing for some time.