With just under a month left of the season, we have seen some amazing plays from some of the league’s most promising young stars. Some of the rookies mentioned in the “Early Season Calder Trophy Race” article have continued their dominance, some have faded out of the picture, and some have emerged from the woodwork and entered the race.
Players like Gabriel Vilardi, Kevin Lankinen, Tim Stutzle, and Nils Hoglander that were mentioned as potential winners earlier in the season have lost traction in the race as the season has progressed. The hot starts have begun to level out and the production has dwindled as their respective teams have begun to fall further from a playoff spot. In this article, we will revisit the Calder Trophy race at this stage of the season to see who will capture the title for the league’s top rookie.
Kirill Kaprizov – Left-Wing – Minnesota Wild
The front-runner in the early season article remains atop of this list considering he has been able to continue his strong rookie campaign. Kaprizov has provided a spark to a Wild team that has been desperate for a superstar for several years now. Kaprizov is a game-breaker with legit top-end speed and can be creative with the puck on his stick and put the puck in the net.
He has been a fixture on the Wild’s top line and first powerplay unit and has provided both his team and fantasy owners with a massive return on investment. He leads all rookies with 18 goals (with six on the man advantage) and 37 points through 44 games played.
He is a big reason why Minnesota are where they are in the standings this season and should be pretty much locked into the third playoff spot in tough West Division, barring a monumental collapse. He will have to finish the season strong if he does want to claim the Calder with a few players nipping at his heels for the honor.
Either way, dynasty managers who have long awaited his arrival should be nothing but thrilled for what Kirill has brought to their rosters this season and his outlook for years to come, while re-draft owners should deploy him with great confidence through the final weeks of their seasons.
Jason Robertson – Left-Wing – Dallas Stars
Jason Robertson was previously mentioned in the last article he was in the “On the Radar” category as a non-household name to watch and not to toot my own horn here but “TOOT! TOOT!”. Robertson has taken over as a staple in the Stars’ top-six forward group and been one of the best forwards for a team who has underperformed considering their success last season.