Vladimir Tarasenko could well have been on his way to a Calder Trophy had the injury bug not upped and bit him in the face last month. The electric forward had posted 12 points in 17 games for the St. Louis Blues before Mark "I play less than 10 minutes a night" Olver of the Colorado Avalanche took his head off on this play.
Prior to that collision the Russian had come out of the gates at a blistering pace. After several years of being considered one of the best players not in the NHL, Tarasenko dazzled in his debut against the Detroit Red Wings.
While he wouldn't continue to score at a rate of two goals per game, he would still continue to impress. By all accounts the Calder was Tarasenko's to lose up until the injury.
After two weeks on the shelf, Tarasenko is only four points away from the second-best rookie point scorer. Should he return soon he could make a hard charge for the Calder, but as it stands right now there will be another player holding that trophy when the 2013 NHL awards show rolls around.
The Calder may be one of the toughest trophies to figure out in the shortened 2013 season. There are noteworthy and contributing rookies from every position, each with their own unique circumstances and story.
So with Tarasenko mending his wounds, which youngster will add the Calder to his trophy mantle at the end of 2013? Here are a few guys worth considering.