Prospect Ramblings: Early Season Calder Trophy Race and a Marco Rossi Update

Julian Mongillo

2021-02-26

Photo courtesy of Reuters.com

 

Now about a third of the way through the season, the race for the Calder Trophy is well underway, and there are some unexpected names that are proving their worth. With the constant lineup adjustments and players being unavailable, this has been the year for rookies to step in immediately into key roles on their teams and make an impact. With these young players more skilled than ever at a young age, it is to no one’s surprise that they can be difference makers on their teams even if they aren’t as highly touted.

 

Calder Trophy Update

 

While many would have penciled Alexis Lafreniere as the lock to win the trophy, that has not manifested itself and likely won’t unless the former first overall selection finds his game and goes on a run. 

 

The 2020 second overall selection has not been a factor as he has seen most of his season in the AHL and will likely not see any time on the big stage until next season. In a season like this, the rookie that may win the trophy may be the one that stays the healthiest and on the ice the most because of how close the race is thus far. 

 

Front-Runner 

 

The Minnesota Wild have returned from a lengthy COVID-related absence but Kaprizov has been able to pick up right where he left off. He has arguably been the Wild’s best player and the addition of Zuccarello to his line should also boost his production. He leads all rookies in scoring producing at almost a point per game pace with 13 through 15 games. The opportunity he is getting should only increase as the season goes on and as he gets more comfortable and finds chemistry with linemates should also help his cause. 

 

 

In the Mix

 

Aside from missing a few games early on this season to injuries, Stutzle has played night in and night out for a lowly Senators team focused on the future. He has been given plenty of opportunity and ice time and head coach D.J Smith has allowed him to play freely and use his speed, skill, and creativity to his advantage whi