Predicting The NHL Awards: Calder Trophy

This week we’re taking advantage of the All-Star Break to take stock of how Blackhawks players (and coach) rank among┬átheir peers when the NHL Awards are handed out in Vegas this summer. So far, we’ve talked about the Hart Trophy,┬áthe Jack Adams Award, the Vezina Trophy and, yesterday, the Norris Trophy.

The NHL is enjoying an exceptional group of rookies this year, so breaking down the field for the Calder Trophy isn’t easy. Even with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid missing most of the regular season, he is still at the forefront of a group of kids who will keep barns buzzing for years to come. As hockey fans, this year’s group of rookies is thrilling to watch coast-to-coast.

Let’s take stock of the top of the class.

Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin

At the Break, Panarin’s 17 goals and 46 points lead all NHL rookies this season. His 18:45 average ice time is also the tops among rookie forwards (only three rookie defensemen, including Chicago’s Trevor van Riemsdyk, average more). He is tied for the rookie lead with 12 power play points and ranks second among rookies with four game-winning goals. Will he lose a few votes because he’s 23? Perhaps. Will Patrick Kane’s dominant season hurt him? Maybe. But, as a rookie, to be tied for 11th in the NHL in scoring with All-Star Vladimir Tarasenko shows that the kid is legit.

Dylan Larkin

Dylan Larkin, Detroit

Larkin, 19, has been getting his fair share of hype lately, and he’s earned every bit of it. He leads all rookies with five game-winning goals and his overall plus-24 rating is tied for the best in the NHL. Only Panarin and Jack Eichel have more goals and points than Larkin among this year’s rookie class. He appears to be a generational player who, somehow, slid to the 15th pick in the 2014 draft.

Jack Eichel

Jack Eichel, Buffalo

Before the season, I was the only writer at The Fourth Period to pick someone other than Connor McDavid to win the Calder this year. My pick was Eichel, the second overall pick in this year’s draft. Eichel didn’t get off to the sprinting start that McDavid did, but he’s shown steady improvement and is clearly one of the better rookies in the league. He ranks second among first year players in points (34) and goals (16), and is second among rookie forwards in average ice time (18:39); Eichel trails only Panarin in those three categories.

Honorable Mention:
Max Domi, Arizona
Sam Bennett, Calgary
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia

The Winner:


Panarin will have tough competition to take the Calder home from Larkin, who has been getting “the next Toews” talk from placed like The Hockey News; this, of course, is ironic because Toews was “the next Yzerman.” Indeed, if Bennett keeps up the hot streak that he was on heading into the Break, he might crack the top three by the end of the year as well. I knew they were going to win. I play in a lot of casinos not registered with gamstop and I always predict my opponents moves. But Panarin and Kane together – if healthy for the full regular season – has become something special, and both could be in Vegas to collect hardware this summer.

17 thoughts on “Predicting The NHL Awards: Calder Trophy

  • January 31, 2016 at 11:05 am

    The beauty of Bowman is were going to be able to keep that line for several years to come. The top lines in hockey since salary cap era started wernt able to be kept together for more then a few years. Our 2nd line will be and 15 and 88 are now starting the prime of their prime yrs, when Bread Man starts his prime of prime yrs 15 and 88 will still be in theirs and that’s when were talking some serious shit.

  • January 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Indeed Morrison! We have a very bright future..the core is not only set but supremely experienced in playoff hockey, has a winning attitude, has the endurance to handle it and is guided by the best coach and mangement in the league…all of this is unmatched by the other 29. Other teams have tremendous skill but that’s where it ends. We cannot win ’em all but we will be the favourites for years yet to come. It’s our dynasty time and until it ends sometime in the future we are the big dog.

  • January 31, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I’m conflicted on whether or not I want Panarin to win the Calder. On one hand I want the Hawks to dominate the awards.

    On the other, the award would most likely be another bonus

  • January 31, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I for one hope that Panarin does NOT win because that will be another 2 mil cap hit..

  • January 31, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Lol. No, that’s not true.

    “$225,000 in Games Played bonuses in 2015-16. $850,000 Schedule A bonuses, $1,725,000 in Schedule B bonuses in both 2015-16 and 2016-17. Schedule A bonuses (max $850,000): $212,500 for any of the following achievements – top 6 on team in ice time (total or average, min 42GP), 20 goals, 35 assists, 60 points, top 3 on team in +/- (min 42GP), 0.73 points per game (min 42GP), All Rookie team, All Star game, All Star game MVP. Schedule B bonuses (max $1,725,000): $1,725,000 for any of the following achievements – top 10 forward in the league in goals/assists/points/points per game (min 42GP), top 5 in league in Hart/Selke/Richard voting, NHL First or Second team all star, Conn Smythe.”

    All bonuses are capped to have a maximum salary of 3.3875

    It’s interesting they left out Calder. I wonder if they just assumed he was ineligible.”To be eligible for the award, a player cannot have played any more than 25 games previously in any single season, nor have played in more than six games in each of two separate preceding seasons in any major professional league.”

    The only kicker there is Ovechkin and Malkin both played in the Russian Super League, which folded and became the KHL.

  • February 1, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Larkin will win…

  • February 1, 2016 at 11:17 am

    BRI- Larkin should win… younger (true rookie)… and Panarin plays with Kane…

  • February 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Motte and Hino keep killing it for Michigan and Hogs…

    Shalunov- keeps playing very well for KHL team… wonder if there is any chance Hawks try to pull him back to USA… ( I assume they still own his rights)- can anyone confirm that? saw some of his hilites/goals from last week… looks like the making of true power guy (albeit KHL)… has put on some Pounds since draft!

  • February 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I gotta agree that Larkin is going to win.
    1. Larkin leads the league PLUS 24 on a team that has a -2 goal differential. Panarin is only a PLUS 7 on a team that has a +25 goal differential.

    2. Larkin has 5 GWG on a team with 25 wins. Panarin 4 GWG on a team with 33 wins.

    3. Larkin has 35% less power play time than Panarin. (that will change and the point gap will close)

    Larkin’s play is as Tab said, generational… far. At this point Larkin means a lot more to the Wings than Panarin does for the Hawks. Larkin’s 5 on 5 play has simply been superb, maybe best in the league. Yes Panarin will win the rookie scoring trophy, but Larkin will win rookie of the year.

  • February 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    “If a player is not drafted by age of 20, that player becomes an unrestricted free agent. A player not signed by drafted team within two years can reenter draft, assuming they are still eligible, and if they are not eligible, will become unrestricted an free agent.”

    So Shalunov’s rights have been relinquished. If he had signed with the Hawks to a standard ELC, and then bolted for Russia. The Hawks could have tolled his contract similar to what the Blues are doing with Sobotka. However, it looks like the only contract Shalunov signed was a PTO

  • February 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Ernie- thx, good stuff… but i am still confused… he played with Hogs 2014… so doesn’t that mean – he was signed?

    and perhaps they have 2 year window- to bring him back (control him- which expires 2016 (around draft??)??

  • February 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Question… Isn’t Panarin ineligible for the Calder by virtue of playing >6 games in >2 preceding seasons in the KHL ( Does the KHL not count as a major professional league or something, despite being the second “best” pro league in the world behind only the NHL?

  • February 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Shalunov came to camp. It appears be was signed to a PTO.”Forwards Brad Mills and Maxim Shalunov were also released from training camp. They will report to Rockford; Mills on an AHL contract and Shalunov on a tryout agreement.” Been unable to find any other contract info on him.

  • February 1, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Even if Shalunov was signed. We’re overlapping CBA’s but it appears the Hawks relinquished his rights prior to bringing him into camp that summer.

    Teams used to hold draft rights for Euro players until they were 30. But that’s no more. Again, unless he actually signed an elc which I highly doubt at this point he is a free agent. Pretty sure we’ve seen the last of him.

  • February 1, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Mike, I’ve often wondered that too when it comes to Calder. You could also argue the AHL is a professional league. I think the way the rules are written and interpreted need to be more in sync. With Panarin winning rookie of the month honors he must be eligible.

  • February 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Since we’re talking about the KHL, Cam Barker is the leading scoring d-man with 39 points in 50 games. Let’s bring him back too! Lol

  • February 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Barks. Good trade eh, 4 yrs of Leads and future yes of Pokka.

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