Last season, Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau won the NHL's rookie of the year award in a decision that was both close and controversial. It was one that saw five different candidates receive more than 10 first-place votes, as commemorated at HFboards.com, and featured a photo finish between Huberdeau and the Montreal Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher.
In contrast, 2011-12 was a two-horse race between Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Oilers, and one which Landeskog eventually won by a hefty margin.
What kind of race is shaping up this year? Is it a crowded field with many contenders, or a shallow one with a clear front-runner? Read on to see what my hypothetical ballot would look like if the voting were held today.