Dec. 20, 2016
Calder Trophy frontrunners.
Matt Murray. Goalie, Pittsburgh Penguins.
The rookie goalie who has been splitting time with Marc Andre-Fleury, and has spent a lot of time recently in the net, and very deservedly as well. Murray has much better stats this season than Fleury and should start to be their full time starter. Murray this year leads rookie goalies in all Goaltender stats although there is not much competition, but the what he is doing for the penguins still makes him one of the top frontrunners for the trophy, and the first goalie to win it since Steve Mason in 2009. Murray is 12-2 this year with a 1.93 GAA and .935 SV%, and 2 shutouts. That is ridiculous for a 22 year old. With his poise he is likely to keep this up and will be a contender for the Calder.
Patrik Laine. Right Wing, Winnipeg Jets.
"The next Ovechkin" The 6'5 winger has lit it up in the NHL to start his career. He is second on the team in points just behind Mark Schiefele who has 28 in 29 games. Laine has 25 points in 32 games, and has 17 goals in that time. Laine leads all rookies in goals, and points thanks to all the goals that he has. He has 7 power play goals already and 9 points on the power play. He also has 3 game winning goals which is tied for the rookie lead. Laine impressively is third overall in the entire league for goals and with his extreme determination will look to finish in the top five for sure. Right now Laine sits tied for 24th in the league in scoring. He is also a +2 on the season. Laine will look to make it back to back Europeans to win the Calder Trophy after Artemi Panerin won it last year.
Zach Werenski. Defence, Columbus Blue Jackets.
Werenski is seen as the underdog in the race for the Calder but he is also the dark horse in the competition. Werenski will try and be the first defence man to win since Aaron Ekblad in 2015 only two years ago, as rookie defence man are becoming much more important on young developing teams like the Blue Jackets now, and Panthers two years ago. Werenski has been making a name for himself as the top defence man on one of the hottest teams in the NHL and has been a catalyst on their power play which is number one in the league Werenski is tied for second in rookies in plus minus with a +6, and is tied for second in power play points with 9. Werenski has 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points in 27 games. Werenski will look to continue these impressive stats as he is also second in the league in shifts per game with 27.7 so he will get lots of opportunities this season.
Auston Matthews. Centre, Toronto Maple Leafs.
The number one overall draft pick last summer has to be on this list as well. The leader in points on the Maple Leafs, and the kid who already looks like the leader on the team. Just like how Mcdavid took over the Captain role in Edmonton, it is likely the Matthews will do the same in Toronto because he is showing that he is a true leader already. With 13 points and 22 points in 28 games Matthews leads the Leafs, and is 2nd in rookie scoring sitting only behind Laine. Matthews is currently a -1 but with 22 shifts a game, and 17 minutes of ice time a game on a .500 team that is not to bad, and not something to be worried about. Matthews has 7 power play points which is second on the team only behind William Nylander so those two rookies are leading the Leafs power play. Matthews will look to become the first 1st overall pick since Ekblad two years ago to win the Calder Trophy.