Calder Race: My Top Five Picks to Win Rookie of The Year

Jon MillerContributor IDecember 4, 2010

EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 17: Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Chicago Black Hawks on November 17, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

There continues to be a youth movement in the NHL.  Teams are expecting their young guys to carry the load throughout the season, and these kids are not disappointing.

While there are plenty of first-year players that could be mentioned in the Calder Trophy race, I have narrowed it down to my top five.

No. 5: Kevin Shattenkirk

Currently riding an eight-game point streak, Kevin is currently tied for the rookie lead in points for a defenseman.  Impressive, considering he has played far fewer games than any other player in the top five.

In addition to the offense that he brings to the Colorado Avalanche, he still manages to be solid in his defensive zone.  In fact, the Avalanche were so impressed with his play so far, they felt comfortable trading away Scott Hannan earlier this week.

No. 4:  Taylor Hall

The first overall pick in this summer's entry draft, Taylor Hall got off to a slow start.  The Edmonton Oilers are starting to find their stride, winning their last three games.  Hall has three goals in that span. 

Now fifth in rookie scoring, he has eight goals and 14 points so far this season.  He has also found his stride, so expect those numbers to continue to go up.

No. 3: Jordan Eberle

Another rookie among the many on the Edmonton Oilers this season, Eberle might be the most explosive player on this list.

How can anyone forget his first NHL goal?  A beautiful toe-drag around the defenseman and to his backhand for a shorthanded tally. 

Highlights aside, he is currently second among rookies in points with 18 through his first 25 games.

No. 2:  Jeff Skinner

Leading all rookies in points, Skinner might be the most surprising player in this group.  Taken seventh overall this summer, the Markham, Ontario, native was not expected to even make the NHL this year. 

Well, he made it, and he is making an immediate impact on the Hurricanes roster.  With eight goals and 20 points through his first 25 games, Skinner has been producing consistently since Day 1.

No. 1:  Sergei Bobrovsky

Give Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren credit for signing the undrafted free agent this summer.  Bobrovsky currently leads all rookie goaltenders in wins with 12 and is fifth in the entire NHL in wins. 

Originally starting his professional career in the KHL, this native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, has helped Philadelphia get off to a hot start.  They are currently sitting in fourth place in the East, and Bobrovsky is a big reason why.