I hope everyone is ready for a rant, as I have been reading speculation around the Calder Memorial Trophy this year. The Calder is given to the rookie of the year, and with the high level of talent from the rookies this year, the race will go to the end of the season. If I were to rank the top five rookies today, they would go as followed.
- CHI Artemi Panarin G 22 A 35 GP 60
- DET Dylan Larkin G 19 A 20 GP 57
- PHL Shayne Gotisbehere G 12 A 22 GP 40
- AIZ Max Domi G 17 A 24 GP 58
- BUF Jack Eichel G 17 A 24 GP 60
DNQ: Connor McDavid G 10 A 17 GP 23
Artemi Panarin deserves to win the Calder this year; this man has 57 points thus far this season. At his current points-per-game pace, it has him around the high 70’s this season for a rookie. Yes, I understand that he is on the best team out of all of the rookies and he plays with Patrick Kane, but you can’t argue with the point total. The second closest players in points are Max Domi and Jack Eichel with 41.
Dylan Larkin is second because of the impact he has for Detroit. This team has rallied around him in hopes of keeping the playoff streak alive. Another reason is because of his phenomenal plus-minus stat: plus 21 on the season. This is incredible and shows how dynamic his game is, both offensively and defensively.
Another name that might surprise a few (and shouldn’t) would be Shayne Gotisbehere of the Flyers. He makes my list at number three because of his 16-game point streak and his 34 points by a defenseman in just 40 games played. He has been a great change for Philly and I think the longer his game streak continues, I could see him jumping past Larkin at the number two spot.
Max Domi and Jack Eichel round out my final five as they are both tied on points. I placed Domi above Eichel because he has the same amount of points in two fewer games. Sorry Sabres fans, don’t hurt me.
Now for the rant section. Connor McDavid did not qualify in my book and it is not his fault at all. When he broke his collarbone and missed all those games, I wrote him off as all of you should have, but most didn’t. I understand the kid was the first overall pick and he is very talented, but you can’t give a rookie of the year to a player who can only play 45 games on the season. He has great numbers with 27 points in 23 games played, but the Oilers only have 22 games left.
Unless McDavid can put up 60 points in 45 games, I don’t see how you can reward a player who didn’t play most of the schedule. Players like Eichel and Panarin who haven’t missed a game deserve to be rewarded for that. Injuries are part of the game and the challenge is staying healthy all year long. If McDavid had only missed 10-15 games I would allow him in the race, but he missed 30 plus games and that doesn’t deserve the Calder. Sorry, kid.
I think my ranking from 2-5 will change, but I don’t see Panarin losing the top spot, as he has a 16 point lead over everyone. If you disagree and want to tell me why, shoot me a message or comment.