Calder Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the best rookie this season. This year’s candidates are:
Arguably one of the most hyped draft picks in recent memory, fans had incredibly high expectations for Connor McDavid this season.
As you can imagine, there was major panic when he didn’t score his first NHL goal in his first three games.
Fans worst fears eventually came to fruition only 19 games into his career, as the young Oiler broke his collarbone and ended up missing 27 games.
He returned in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and silencened his critics with an absolutely filthy goal that left the hockey world speechless.
He may had only played 45 games in his rookie season but he still recorded 48 points (16 goals 32 assists), fourth among all rookies.
The “Ghost” played a large role in helping the Flyers to make the playoffs this season despite only having played in 64 games.
He really emerged mid-season but the Flyers were not playing well and were far out of a playoff spot. But then something happened that seems to happen almost every year. A team gets hot at the right time and wills themselves into the playoffs.
Gostisbehere was deadly on the power-play with 22 of his 46 points coming on the power-play (8 PPG), as well from the point (17 goals, 29 assists). The Ghost will be wrecking defenses for years to come.
Panarin is the only rookie nominated to have played in at least 80 games.
Panarin found instant chemistry with Art Ross winner Patrick Kane, and you can certainly make the argument that Kane wouldn’t have been as successful without Panarin.
Panarin’s contributions to the Chicago Blackhawks this past season were very much nnecessary. He was the first rookie to score 20 goals (faster than McDavid and Jack Eichel), and he led all rookies in goals (30), assists (47), and points (77).
In a draft surrounded by the generational talent of Eichel and McDavid, it seems Panarin had the biggest impact of them all.
The Verdict: Artemi Panarin
Although McDavid was sensational, he just didn’t play enough to take home the award.