NHL Award Show: Breaking Down The Calder Odds
The Calder Memorial Trophy is handed out to the NHL's Rookie of the year.
Players are only eligible to receive this award in the first year of the career and can only win it once, making it one of the hardest trophies in hockey to get your name on.
It takes quite a season for a player's name to be placed on this piece of hardware.
Teemu's 76 goals or Ovechkin's 106 point rookie campaign, are just a few examples of what it can take to earn this honor.
However, nothing crazy like the examples mentioned above will be necessary this year.
This year, it could be a 6'8" Defenceman, who to date has tallied 46 points (11G, 35A) and has had a very solid season.
Or a speedy center, who currently has 54 points (23G, 31A) and is slowly but surely becoming the face of his franchise.
Or maybe it could be a net-minder, who to date, has posted 34 wins and is forming into his teams new no. one guy.
Here are some pros and cons for the players mentioned above.
5. John Tavares
2009's first overall pick.
The New York Islanders center has had an alright year, but has yet to post the numbers that many thought he would.
Tavares' current +/- of -10 is definitely a concern for the rookie. However, his 22 goals and 49 points rank second among NHL rookies and aren't too shabby for a first year NHL player.
But the Canadian center-man was expected to be a lot more special, and have his stats a bit more off the charts.
With that said, it's not as if John Tavares has been a bust of a first overall pick for New York.
Many times throughout the year he has shown how good he truly is and the magnificent potential he possesses.
Tavares will likely one day be the best rookie of this years class. However, this year, he was not.
Do I believe Tavares will win the Calder? Not at all.
Would he be considered a long shot? I suppose.
4. Jim Howard
The red hot Red Wing strikes in at No. 4.
Howard's season has had its up's and down's but the Syracuse, New York native had himself one hell of a March, posting a 12-2-1 record and only losing in regulation twice.
It is that hot streak that has many questioning if Howard could indeed be a sleeper candidate to win the Calder.
The 26-year-old has already posted a rookie high 34 wins for the Wings this season and is much of the reason that the team was able to right the ship and once again find themselves in the postseason for the 20th straight year.
His .923 save percentage and 2.33 GAA are both second for rookies only to Boston's Tuuka Rask.
It is very possible that Howard could surprise everyone at the NHL award show and be crowned Rookie of the year.
3. Tuuka Rask
The 23-year-old Savonlinna, Finland native is who I believe will be the last nominee for the Calder Memorial.(Only the top three actually get nominated.)
Hasn't Rask only posted 20 wins in the mere 43 games he's played for Boston?
This is true, but this award is not about which Rookie has helped his team more in terms of the standings, it is given to the player who has shown individually and has been the best as an individual among other Rookies.
This guy does not lack in that department.
Rasks' .930 save percentage and 1.99GAA both rank first among Rookie goaltenders.
He also hasn't had any trouble blanking the opponent, posting yet another rookie high five shutouts so far this season.
As a matter of fact, the only rookie goaltending category that Rask is not first in is wins, which is due largely to him only starting 43 games.
I also believe that Rask has an opportunity to better his Calder Trophy odds in the final week of the regular season.
If he can backstop the Bruins to a playoff berth, and possibly further, than Rask's Rookie of the Year chances will definitely receive a big boost.
2. Matt Duchene
The new face of the Colorado Avalanche franchise is my No. 2 pick. However, I believe Duchene has just as good of odds as my No. 1 choice, pending on his play in the final week of the season.
The No. 3 pick overall in the 2009 NHL entry draft has had himself a pretty good season.
He currently leads all Rookies with 54 points (23G, 31A) and his 23 goals are also a rookie high. His assist total of 31 is second only to Buffalo's Tyler Myers.
Duchene is having a better season than many had thought he would.
Everyone one knew he would do well at the NHL level eventually, but coming in as solid as he has, shocked quite a few people.
He's ahead of the No. 1 draft choice of 09's draft, John Tavares, in every category and has been a very important piece to the surprising year the Colorado Avalanche are currently having.
Had someone asked me a month ago who would win the Calder, I would have said Duchene hands down, but the 19-year-old Haliburton, Ontario native had a poor month of March and is currently on a 12 game goal drought.
I think Duchene can still make up for his lack of scoring in the four games that Colorado has left.
If he can step up to the plate and help the Av's secure a playoff spot just one year after they finished dead last in the Western Conference, than Matt Duchene could easily walk away with the Calder.
1. Tyler Myers
The 6'8" Buffalo giant is my No. 1 choice to win the Calder and I believe that right now it is his to lose.
Myers' 46 points and Rookie leading 35 assists are very impressive considering that he is a defenseman.
To top that off, Myers has played very well defensively for the Sabres all season long.
The Houston, Texas product is also third in Rookie +/- with a 12 effort.
If Myers can have a solid last week of the regular season and playoff performance, than I believe the Calder will be his.
If he does not play well in the weeks to come, than Matt Duchene could easily cruise by and steal the crown.
It will be interesting to watch how these Rookies perform for the remainder of the season, and whether their play will raise or lowers their Calder Trophy odds.