Prospect Ramblings: Calder Power Rankings 006

by Brayden Olafson on January 5, 2020

 

Welcome back for another edition of the Calder Power Rankings. As we make our way into the New Year (and apparently decade… that seems to be a big deal), the rankings are becoming more impacted by injuries and certain players’ mid-season surges. The top of the rankings have been relatively consistent since the beginning of the year, but Cale Makar’s upper-body injury and Ilya Mikheyev’s wrist injury could be the beginning of some instability. 

 

For a look at any of the previous revisions of the Calder Power Rankings, check out the following links:



001                                    004

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1. D, Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (-) | 8-21-29

 

Makar’s cushion was enough to sustain his status among rookies despite a three-week absence from the Avalanche. The Av’s have been on a skid as of late, and unfortunately, Makar hasn’t been the key in turning those tides. He hasn’t played exceptionally well, but he’s done enough in the early part of the year to earn our optimism for a rebound. 

 


2. RW, Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres (-) | 16-18-34

 

Amongst the storm of a competitive rookie crop, Olofsson’s impact on the Sabres’ success hasn’t wavered since his struggles in October. He was named the NHL’s rookie of the month for December and has the wind strongly in his sails. If Makar isn’t able to rebound quickly, there’s no question that the Sabre forward is eager to take over the top spot. 

 


3. D, Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (+1) | 3-25-28

 

Hughes has continued to produce consistently for the Canucks’ all the while, maintaining a reliable defensive game. He plays with an awareness of the impact that his actions have on the teams’ success and more often than not, his actions have a positive impact. 

 


4. D, John Marino, Pittsburgh Penguins (+4) | 4-14-18

 

Day by day, John Marino is continuing to make Ken Holland look terrible. The former Harvard defenseman is clipping along at a rate of production higher than ever in his NCAA career. His confidence is sky high and the Penguins are laughing. 

 


5. C/RW, Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes (-) | 9-13-22

 

A more consistent effort will be required of Necas in order to hold down his place in the top-five for much longer. The Carolina rookie has cooled off since the end of November but obviously has the ability to be extremely impactful. 

 


6. C, Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens (-) | 7-16-23

 

With the Habs’ becoming one of the league’s most injury-plagued teams, Suzuki has stepped up to the plate and filled the void left by guys like Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher. His recent pace could see him climb into the top-five by the end of January. 

 


7. LW, Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks (+4) | 11-7-18

 

Teeing off alongside two superstars like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews certainly has its benefits, many of which Chicago rookie Dominik Kubalik has recently cashed in on. The Czech forward is as hot as any rookie right now and hasn’t been getting off easy with his matchups. If there were more glory for defensive forwards, Kubalik might be a household name by now.

 


8. D, Adam Fox, New York Rangers (+5) | 5-14-19

 

I got flak on Twitter this week for thinking out loud about how Adam Fox has the potential to match the play of Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. While he may not be as dynamic as the other two, I think there’s plenty that we haven’t seen from Fox because of his more limited opportunity – it will come, but he’s not likely going to catch the others in this race. 

 


9 . LW, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Los Angeles Kings (+1) | 4-7-11

 

For a latecomer to the Calder race, the Kings forward has earned a second-consecutive spot in the rankings thanks to offensive consistency and perseverance in a coaching system that isn’t doing him any favors. If given a more appropriate role in Lala land, the Russian might have a chance at cracking the top-five, but for now that seems like a pipe-dream. 

 


10. RW, Ilya Mikheyev, Toronto Maple Leafs (-7) | 8-15-23

 

The gruesome wrist injury sustained by the Leafs’ rookie substantially impacts his chances of continuing in contention for the Calder Trophy. With an expected timeline for return rumored to be in the range of early March, Mikheyev will have very little opportunity to make up for the lost time. His success to this point in the season keeps him inside the top-ten for now. 

 

Notable streaking players who are vying for a spot in the next edition of the top-10 include:

 

Alex Nylander

Alex Texier

Eric Robinson

Denis Gurianov

Ethan Bear

 

Some notable players who have been jockeyed out of the top-10 include:

 

Joel Farabee

Philippe Myers

 

Make sure to check back in a couple of weeks for the next revision of the Calder Trophy Power Rankings. 

 

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@olaf1393