Calder Memorial Trophy
The Calder Trophy is awarded to the best rookie in the NHL
Lucas Burrell- Jesperi Kotkaniemi- C Montreal Canadians
There were a lot perplexed looks during draft night the Canadiens selected Kotkaniemi at 3rd overall. But to many teams and draft experts the Finnish skater was best center available in the draft. Montreal is a team that desperately needs center depth within their franchise, and it
shows with how quickly they slotted the 18 year old into their lineup.
It seems that they are easing him into the league, but don’t be surprised if they start utilizing him in the first line center spot by Thanksgiving or Christmas. Getting that bump in ice-time along with more opportunities with the Canadiens most impactful forwards, Kotkaniemi will produce a
significant chunk of points.
He showed during training camp that he has the ability to distribute the puck on a NHL level. Over the course of this 2018 – 2019 season look out for this young skater to slowly become one of the most impactful rookies in the entire league.
Michael Gutnick- Elias Pettersson- C/RW Vancouver Canucks
There are some many rookie sensations to choose from emerging to the NHL level this season. However, Elias Pettersson stands out as one of the top Swedish superstars to break through for the Vancouver Canucks and holds the best chance at claiming the Calder Trophy.
As noted before in the Vancouver Canucks piece of our Pacific Division preview, Pettersson is a dynamic two-way forward with tremendous play-making abilities and a highly-skilled threat to unleash his a lethal wrister and slapshot. Along with Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat on Vancouver’s
top line, the 2017 5th overall pick sparks the Canucks offense, representing a crucial component of the future in Rogers Arena.
Pettersson already holds high regard and shows he can compete and swiftly skate past some of the NHL’s best forwards and blueliners, which we’ve seen as he paced the Swedish Hockey League with 56 points. A bright young star on the rise, the 19-year-old freshman phenom seeks to take home the rookie hardware.
David Boettcher- Elias Pettersson- C/RW Vancouver Canucks
Three goals in two regular season games and a couple of broken ankles in preseason, this kid looks like the real deal.
Elias Pettersson always had a question mark hanging over his head. Scouts and other experts wondered whether he would be able to put on enough weight to be durable enough to last an entire NHL season. While that is still yet to be seen, as Calgary isn’t exactly a physically tough team to play against, so far, he hasn’t looked out of place.
Steve Fishman- Andrei Svechnikov- RW Carolina Hurricanes
This is a bit of an unpopular pick here, as Pettersson and even guys like Kotkaniemi and Tkachuck get a bit more hype than Svechnikov does, as he plays in Carolina. But at the end of the day, its going to be Svechnikov and the Carolina Hurricanes laughing all the way to the playoffs.
The #2 overall pick is already off to a hot start with the even hotter ‘Canes. He already has 2 goals in six games playing on Carolina’s fourth line(!!!) He creates a massive mismatch against other teams checking lines, as the Hurricanes have the depth to roll four lines with impunity.
Svechnikov’s Corsi For Percentage is already a staggering 64% followed by a Goals For% of 66% according to Natural StatTrick. With both Pettersson and Tkachuck missing time, its Svechnikovs to lose at this point.