There are still a lot of hockey games to be played but I thought it would be fun to give a list of my top ten Calder Candidates as it stands right now. My preseason pick was John Tavares.
1) Buffalo – Defense – Tyler Myers – He’s a plus player in his rookie season!
2) Colorado – Forward – Matt Duchene – He’s leading his team in goals.
3) Islanders – Forward - John Tavares – He’s on pace for 20-something goals.
4) Flyers – Forward - James van Riemsdyk – He’s tied for the rookie lead with six GWG.
5) Chicago – Goaltender – Antti Niemi – If he played more he’d be #1. He’s ranked second in the league in GAA, and sixth in shutouts.
6) Colorado – Forward - T.J. Galiardi – He’s leading all rookies in short-handed assists.
7) Rangers – Defense - Michael Del Zotto – He’s leading all rookies in power play assists.
8) Atlanta – Forward - Niclas Bergfors – He’s tied with JVR for rookie GWG’s.
9) Toronto – Goaltender – Jonas Gustavsson – Has played in 32 games.
10) Dallas – Forward – Jamie Benn – Ranked third in rookie goals.
Let’s see how this race shapes up, so far it’s a tight one. Myers skating was never a question but his positioning was and now he’s gotten so much better at that.
Duchene’s speed and leadership is getting him far in his rookie season but Tavares is lurking and if he gets hot he can still win it. JVR has a great chance because he plays with the best talent on this list (as far as forward’s go) and that can mean a lot more points down the road as he gets more comfortable out there.