With the 2013 NHL draft just a month away, projecting the NHL’s top rookie of the year candidates in 2014 seems appropriate.
This year's draft is deep, with several top picks capable of making the jump to the NHL for the 2013-14 season.
Oftentimes, players that were drafted two or three years before have a greater impact in their rookie seasons versus first-year players from the most recent draft.
Forwards have won the Calder Memorial Trophy award much more than any other position, with defensemen in particular winning the award just five times since the 1980-81 season. Goaltenders have won the award six times in that same period (per hockeydb.com).
The following list includes some of the top picks from the past few years as well as some of the projected top picks for the 2013 NHL draft this June. These players have excelled at all previous levels of play and should be important contributors to their respective teams next year.
Given that forwards have won the award much more often than defensemen and goalies, the list features more forwards than the other positions.