Discussing soon-to-be Calder runner-ups and young goalies holding their own in today’s Ramblings…
The biggest debate concerning the Calder trophy this year seems to be ‘can McDavid score enough to justify ousting Panarin despite missing half the season?’…and this will probably be the discussion among voters for the rest of the year. While this debate is justified and inevitable, there’s been a staggering number of rookies playing important roles for their teams this season so I’m going to indulge myself and ramble about some notable stats put up by Calder also-rans.
Shayne “Ghost” Gostisbehere (PHI) is making an incredible push for a top-three Calder finish with 34 points in just 40 games (making him 3rd in points-per-game). He leads the class in powerplay production (18) and OT goals (4!) despite playing up to 20 fewer games than his competition. His current 15-game point streak (extended with the OT winner last night) is the longest by an NHL defenceman since 1995.
Jack Eichel (BUF) has 14 points in his last 14 games and 41 on the year (2nd-place among rookies). He has the highest shot totals among candidates and plays more minutes than any other rookie forward. He could be given even more ice-time and a more responsible role very soon if Ryan O'Reilly's injury turns out to be significant.
Dylan Larkin (DET) started the year with a bang but has lost the spotlight to his high-scoring rivals. A stat that shouldn’t be ignored: Larkin is ranked 2nd among rookies in even-strength points with 36 and tied for 1st in even-strength goals with 17. His plus-21 rating puts him 5th in the NHL and 1st among Calder-eligible.
Colton Parayko (STL) leads the race in ice-time, playing 19:19 per game on average. His most impressive feat may be creating Kevin Shattenkirk trade-rumors after his emergence as a powerplay phenomenon and a defenceman the teams just can’t bear hiding on the third-pairing. Luckily(?) injuries have given him the situational opportunities he deserves.
Max Domi (ARI) doesn’t lead in any particular statistic, but 41 points on an Coyotes squad where he is one of only seven regulars with a positive plus-minus rating is pretty darn impressive. He also sits 10th among rookies in PIM – his nose for the net has both real and fantasy GMs excited for his multi-category future.
John Gibson (ANH) has four shutouts (tied for 3rd in the NHL), and has battled his way into a tandem with a starter in no need for competition. He has the same (solid) 0.917 SV% as Andersen and only one less win despite playing seven fewer contests.