NHL Power Rankings: Who's In the Running For NHL Rookie of the Year?

Thomas CopainCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2010

NHL Power Rankings: Who's In the Running For NHL Rookie of the Year?

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 08:  Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers makes a stick save against the San Jose Sharks on December 8, 2010 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sharks defeat the Flyers 5-4 in a shootout.  (Photo by
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Every team has promising rookies that come out of nowhere to make the team or are expected to make the team out of camp. 

    But a select few of them shine out above the rest, and provide a spark that can carry a team or be that missing piece that makes a good team great.

    In the NHL, those players get awarded the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year. And after a great crop of rookies last year, including Matt Duchene and Tyler Myers, there's another great crop battling for the award.

    So here are some of the favorites for the Calder Trophy.

12. Derek Stepan, C, New York Rangers

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 02:  Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on December 2, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 7 G, 10 A, 17 Pts

    Stepan has had an up-and-down season in the NHL, going from a hat-trick in his first-ever game to the fourth line center a few games later. But he's among the rookie leaders in scoring and has played wherever coach John Tortorella has asked him to be for the surprising Rangers.

    The big question with Stepan will be where he fits when the Rangers get healthy again.

11. Bryan Bickell, LW, Chicago

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    Season Stats: 8 G, 8 A, 16 Pts

    Bickell was one of the rookies that was forced into the lineup after the defending Stanley Cup Champions traded away a good portion of the lineup in the summer.

    Bickell has had his ups-and-downs, but he's among the rookie leaders in goals and scoring. He's doing it while mostly on a checking line with center Dave Bolland, as well.

10. Cam Fowler, D, Anaheim

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    ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Cam Fowler #4 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center on December 10, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 3 G, 13 A, 16 Pts

    Fowler has had a big learning curve in Anaheim (he's -7 on the season), but he's getting a lot of playing time.

    He's tied with John Carlson for the rookie lead in average time on ice and only Toni Lydman and Lubomir Visnovsky get more ice time on the Ducks than Fowler.

    He's a future power-play quarterback who's injected youth, energy and offense into the Ducks' blue line.

9. John Carlson, D, Washington

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    NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 22:  John Carlson #74 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on November 22, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Capitals 5-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 3 G, 11 A, 14 Pts

    Carlson is one of the more dependable defensemen the Capitals have had.

    He's a power play threat, he averages more than 22 minutes a night, he's a +4 and he could very possibly have a letter in his future. Carlson is yet another young star for the Capitals and he's only going to get better.

8. Jeff Skinner, C, Carolina

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    Season Stats: 8 G, 14 A, 22 Pts

    Even for big hockey fans, Skinner is somewhat forgotten about in Carolina.

    So we'll forgive you if you didn't know Skinner is the rookie leader in assists and points and second in goals to Couture. He's a -7, but his offensive skill and speed are plain to see and he has the tools to be a special player in Carolina in front of Eric Staal.

7. Alexander Burmistrov, C, Atlanta

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 11:  Alexander Burmistrov #8 of the Atlanta Thrashers skates against the New York Islanders on December 11, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Thrashers defeated the Isles 5-4.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 5 G, 8 A, 13 Pts

    Burmistrov hasn't put up the most impressive numbers as some of his rookie counterparts, but he's had a big role.

    He plays mostly on a checking line, but he's been able to play a solid two-way game that's solidified Atlanta and made it a pretty easy decision to keep him around all season and burn the rookie year on his contract.

    He's also had some highlight reel goals too.

6. Anders Lindback, G, Nashville

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    DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 08:  Anders Lindback #39 of the Nashville Predators tends net against the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena on December 8, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Predators defeated the Red Wings 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Im
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 8-1-2, 2.16 GAA, .930 SVP

    Nashville might not be able to score goals, but boy do they develop defensemen and goalies.

    Lindback entered the season as a backup to Pekka Rinne, but with Rinne's injury, Lindback has stepped into the starring role and is playing very well.

    He leads all rookies in save percentage and goals against, and is near the league leaders in those categories as well.

5. Jordan Eberle, RW, Edmonton

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    EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 7: Jordan Eberle #14 of the Edmonton Oilers jumps onto the ice against the Calgary Flames on October 7, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 7 G, 13 A, 20 Pts

    It's hard to have a first NHL goal be prettier than the one Eberle scored on opening night against Calgary (might be the goal of the year).

    Since then, he's somewhat fallen off the radar as Taylor Hall's stock has skyrocketed. But he's still among the leaders in all three rookie scoring categories and is right outside the nomination group.

4. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Colorado

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 10:  Kevin Shattenkirk #8 of the Colorado Avalanche against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on December 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 5 G, 12 A, 17 Pts

    Shattenkirk has compiled a pretty impressive resume. 17 points in 20 games this season and 18 points in 21 career games.

    He's a puck-moving defenseman who's found a home on the Avalanche blue line and has set a franchise record for points in consecutive games by a rookie defenseman.

    Did I mention he's also a +1 on the year?

3. Logan Couture, C, San Jose

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    Season Stats: 14 G, 7 A, 21 Pts

    Couture's had a lot of trips to and from San Jose in the last couple of seasons, but he's finally stuck this year.

    And boy, is he proving he belongs.

    His 14 goals lead all rookies and his 21 points is second to Skinner among rookies. He's been so good that Joe Pavelski's been moved to the wing so Couture could center the second line. San Jose might have another star on its hands.

2. Taylor Hall, LW, Edmonton

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    TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 2:Tyler Bozak #42 of the Toronto Maple Leafs watches as Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his goal during game action at the Air Canada Centre December 2, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / G
    Abelimages/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 10 G, 6 A, 16 Pts

    Hall struggled early through his rookie season (as the last couple of No. 1 overall picks did in their first years), but he's been much better as of late.

    He's showing the speed and offensive skill that made him the top pick, and thanks to Tom Renney, he's now playing more of a two-way game. He's getting much better as the season goes on.

1. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Philadelphia

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 05:  Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on December 5, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Season Stats: 15-4-3, 2.32 GAA, .923 SVP

    The only reason Bobrovsky made the Flyers' opening night roster was because of the injury to Michael Leighton.

    Bobrovsky played well in the preseason, but he was an unknown. The fact that he played his way near the top of the league leaders in goaltending was a perk.

    He has struggled lately, but he's still near the leaders and a big reason why the Flyers are the best team in hockey right now.