The NHL season is just about halfway over, so we’re using the moment to pick our faves for end-of-season trophy winners. The NHL Awards are messy and infrequently go to the players who actually deserve to win, so our picks reflect who should win the award, not necessarily the traditional front-runner. Feel free to agree or disagree with the picks, but these are the correct answers.
This time: The Calder Memorial Trophy, a.k.a. Rookie of the Year.
This is the easiest award pick of the lot. Pettersson has 22 goals and 20 assists in 38 games. The next closest rookie, Colin White, has 10 goals and 15 assists in 42 games. Despite missing games for two separate injuries, Pettersson is the clear choice. The smooth-skating Swede leads the league in Corsica’s wins-above-replacement value, a measure that tracks the number of wins added by a player versus what a replacement player would offer. Pettersson single-handedly makes the Canucks watchable. Here’s hoping that 20-year-old stays healthy for the rest of the season.
Elias Pettersson became the 53rd player in the NHL’s modern era to accumulate 40 career points within their first 40 NHL games (spanning seasons or otherwise).
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 3, 2019
Travis Boyd’s has become a mainstay on the Capitals’ fourth line this season. Boyd tends to get outmatched on ice — underwater with a shot-attempt percentage of 43.8, a scoring-chance percentage of 46.2, and a high-danger-chance percentage of 37.3. However, Boyd boasts a 66.7 goals percentage due to a very high PDO (the sum of on-ice shooting and saving percentages). Boyd has 12 points through 23 games, and while his point production has been a pleasant surprise, don’t expect him to keep this pace up.
Who’s your pick for the Calder?
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