Who should win the Calder Trophy?
People always to tend that the rookies aren’t ready to take a step in the NHL. But each year, some of them tend to surprise everyone. Number one picks to surprising ones, they get phenomenal. Calder Trophy is a trophy decerned to the best rookie of the year; the one who demarked himself the most. As you might have thought, at the beginning of the year that Jack Hughes would take over the reign won by Elias Petterson in 2019, other names are playing extraordinarily good.
1. Cale Makar (D, Colorado Avalanche)
Cale Makar is a top defenseman drafted fourth overall in 2017. At only 21 years old and on his rookie season, he is simply phenomenal. He plays like a veteran and never fear to adjust his style with the speed of the Mackinnon, Rantanen, and Landeskog, being extremely active in the offensive zone. The right-handed defenseman born in Calgary currently has 28 points in 29 points, having missed games due to a current upper-body injury. Being a captain for UMass in the 2018–2019, while having 49 points in 41 games, he has grown a lot in experience and could maybe be a future captain for the Colorado Avalanche.
Cale reads and executes plays quickly, making good things happen for his teammates every time he is out on the ice. Stickhandling and puck possession play is superb. Makar’s potential is that of a traditional franchise defender that can do it all.
2. Victor Olofsson (LW-RW, Buffalo Sabres)
Drafted 181st overall in 2014, Victor Olofsson surprised everyone this year. He demonstrated his incredible sniper talent with the help of Jach Eichel, which is an incredible duo on the powerplay. He is, of course, a huge candidate for the Calder Trophy. He plays as if he were a veteran.
The 24-year-old prospect is a winger with natural goal-scoring instincts. He knows how to find open ice and has a good, hard shot. The small 5-foot-11, 181-pound frame athlete skates extremely well and is a decent playmaker, too. His lack of size can be a problem in physical contests.
The Swedish forward, with 16 goals in 18 assists, for 34 points in 38 games, is actually second in points for the Buffalo Sabres right behind Jack Eichel.
3. Quinn Hughes (D, Vancouver Canucks)
Quinn Hughes is a defenseman playing for the Vancouver Canucks. Already 21 minutes per game, he is definitely a key athlete for Western Conference organization.
Drafted 7th overall in 2017, the 20-year-old defender is known as an elite defensive talent that has mastered the elements of speed and decision-making. He is calculated in his handling of the puck and well-versed in his ability to limit time and space for the opposition without the puck. It’s almost taken for granted, now, that he is a highly skilled offensive player, simply due to his individual ability to carry plays and outfox the opposition in their own end. His creativity and vision is what sets him apart from many other defenders, and he plays that exciting style of hockey that punishes opponents’ mistakes with immediacy. It’s his proactivity through the neutral zone, not just limiting the time and space for the opposition but limiting their options to move the puck up-ice every time he’s on a shift, that makes him so potent. All-in-all, the 5-foot-10, 170-ound frame from Orlando is a complete defenceman that understands how to open up a game and take it over.
Quinn Hughes actually has 27 points in 37 games and is ranked second for points amongst the defenseman’s rookies.