Welcome back for another edition of the Calder Power Rankings. February has been another exciting month thus far, and some players are making major strides. It’s truly become the year of the defenseman, so in addition to glancing over Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes, make sure you dig deeper into some of the blueliners who may be getting overshadowed by your Saturday night broadcasts!
For a look at any of the previous revisions of the Calder Power Rankings, check out the following links:
1. D, Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (-) | 12-30-42
Earlier in the month, Makar broke the Av’s team record for points by a rookie defender, surpassing former Quebec Nordique, Bruce Bell for that glory. Colorado sits second in the Central Division standings with much of their sustained success owed to the 21-year-old. Since seeing his ice time peak at the end of November and having to sit out for a few games, Makar has been rested a little more on a nightly basis and plateaued around 20:30 minutes per night. He’s scoring at a rate higher than any rookie defender over the past decade, and the margin isn’t small. For scale, his points/60 rate is 28% higher than the next closest rookie blueliner, Erik Gustafsson. I think that means we can consider him a generational offensive rookie, but that’s as far as I’ll go for now.
2. D, Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (-) | 8-36-44
Perhaps his strongest two-week stretch of the season has Quinn Hughes seriously making up ground on Cale Maker, and indicating to fantasy owners that he still has plenty of room to grow. Despite Makar’s outlandish scoring rate, Hughes is every bit as impressive when put to the eye test. Perhaps it’s only a matter of not having the run support, but regardless, Quinn might still have a hard time earning votes over Makar.
3. G, Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus Blue Jackets (+3), 9-5-4, 0.926 SV%, 2.39 GAA
Late to the party, Columbus’ rookie goalie, Elvis Merzlikins had everyone fooled after his first few NHL games back in October. After a couple of month stint in Cleveland, Mirzlikins is back on the NHL scene with a vengeance. Since the beginning of January, t