Prospect Ramblings: Calder Power Rankings 007

by Brayden Olafson on January 18, 2020

 

Welcome back for another edition of the Calder Power Rankings. Through the first half of January, injuries continue to impact the rankings. With Ilya Mikheyev’s injury holding him out of the Leafs’ lineup for several more months, he’s essentially been eliminated from any kind of contention.

 

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




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1. D, Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (-) | 9-24-33

 

Makar has once again galloped clearly ahead of the heard since returning from injury. His even-strength production combined with an increasingly difficult quality of competition makes the 21-year-old the undisputed Calder favorite with two months to go. 

 

2. D, Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (+1) | 4-28-32

 

The biggest hurdle preventing Hughes from gaining traction and narrowing the gap between he and Cake Makar is his lack of even-strength production. Despite their very similar total production, Hughes has a 35% lower rate of production at 5-on-5 than Makar. Scale that over an entire season and we’re looking at a nearly 30-point difference at even strength. 

 

3. D, John Marino, Pittsburgh Penguins (+1) | 4-19-23

 

The sleeper pick of the season is one that nobody saw coming. John Marino continues to climb the rankings thanks to his consistent production alongside Marcus Pettersson on the Penguins’ second pair. He’s also faced the Penguins’ toughest competition and filled the void in ice time left by Brian Dumoulin. 

 

4. D, Adam Fox, New York Rangers (+4) | 6-20-26

 

A two-week run of X points and seven points has helped Adam Fox to nearly leapfrogging fellow defenseman John Marino in the Power Rankings. His point per game pace comes despite no increase in even-strength or power play deployment and a 10% dip in offensive zone starts. 

 

5. RW, Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres (-3) | 16-19-35

 

The most recent injury casualty among players jockeying for a spot in the Calder race, Victor Olofsson had been making a legitimate case for a spot in the final voting. His production has been consistent and with an estimated return only a couple of weeks away, he remains the best forward in the race. 

 

6. LW, Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks (-) | 18-10-28

 

The most productive rookie over the past two weeks is Blackhawks sniper, Domanik Kubalik. The 23-year-old Czech continues to rack up goals despite his lack of offensive zone starts. His primary linemates have been the Hawks big-two in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane which is the only skepticism surrounding his sustained production.  

 

7. C/RW, Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes (-) | 10-15-25

 

Halfway through the year, Martin Necas has remained healthy and productive. His rookie campaign pace has him in line for just shy of 50 points including 20 goals. Although I’m not sure that he’ll crack that 20-goal mark, considering his current 17.5% shooting rate, the 21-year-old is still deserving of recognition for his productive even-strength breakout. 

 

8. C, Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens (+1) | 9-18-27

 

The acquisition of Ilya Kovalchuck put an official end to the rise of Nick Suzuki’s even ice time that had been gradually rising through the month of December. The role he currently occupies on Montreal’s third line is probably the most appropriate for his current skill set. While his deployment is no longer climbing, there’s little doubt in my mind that Suzuki reaches his projected 46 points by season end, perhaps more.

 

9. D, Philippe Myers, Philadelphia Flyers (+2) | 3-11-14

 

A bright spot for the flyers in what has become a relatively dismal season has been the recent play of Philippe Myers. Every ounce of the 22-year-old’s 14 points have come at even-strength which should make fantasy owners excited for the time when he can begin to steal additional powerplay time from Matt Niskanen and Shayne Gostisbehere. 

 

10. C, Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils (+2) | 6-11-17

 

A 36-point rookie pace likely wasn’t what Devils fans expected from Jack Hughes when the team drafted him last summer, then again, they’ve been disappointed with more than a few things this year. The team has done almost everything that they can to ensure his early success, including allotting him consistent powerplay deployment and a team-leading share of offensive zone starts. While there were some vocal optimists rooting for Hughes to have a rookie breakout, at the midpoint of the campaign it seems unlikely that he’ll receive any votes for the Calder trophy… So what I’m really saying is, BUY LOW!

 

A few notable players who are vying for a spot in the next edition of the top-10 include:

 

Ethan Bear

Emil Bemstrom

 

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

 

Ilya Mikheyev (INJ)

Nikolai Prokhorkin

 

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