This summer I had the opportunity to make my first ever contribution to the Dobber Hockey Fantasy Guide under the section of Calder Candidates for the 2019-20 NHL season. With the NHL campaign now finally rolling, I thought it might be appropriate to take advantage of my bi-weekly ramblings and continue the segment in the context of power rankings. Admittedly, of the names listed in today’s first edition of the power rankings, four were exempt from my list in the Fantasy Guide. The 2019-20 slate remains young though, and the rankings will continue to be published as a means to monitor rookie progress and success over the course of the year ahead. With that said, I hope you enjoy the first edition of my Calder Power Rankings.
1. D, Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (-)
Playing predominantly alongside Nikita Zadorov at 5-on-5, the UMass Amherst alumni is off to a wickedly hot start with the Av’s in his rookie draw. The team’s official second-pair have contributed modestly at even strength, however, Makar has shone as a solo mainstay on the point for the Avalanche powerplay. The two knocks on Makar’s game thus far are one, his lack of shots (three) and as advanced statistics are concerned, Makar has a slightly below average relative Corsi ranking to his fellow Av’s. With his absurdly small amount of shots on net and resultant lack of goals, it’s difficult to aggressively critique his production as either sustainable or unsustainable. If his production continues on the man advantage though, it’s unlikely that he comes off of it any time soon and a snowball effect could take hold in terms of his production.
2. RW, Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres (-)
The rookie points leader became somewhat of a sleeper pick for pundits over the offseason. With Buffalo opting for an uneventful free-agent period and allowing Jason Pominville to walk, the door swung open for Olofsson to make his mark. Running with a highly unsustainable 33% shooting rate, I struggle to put Olofsson ahead of Makar, despite his lofty five tucks and a combined five powerplay points in six contests. For now