Ranking top-five current Calder Trophy favourites

RANKING THE TOP-FIVE CURRENT CALDER TROPHY FAVOURITES

NOV 23, 2021  (14H19)      COOPER GODIN
The National Hockey League is approaching the quarter mark of their season, which is usually around American Thanksgiving for most teams. The American Thanksgiving point of the season is a big deal for teams. From 2013 to 2017, 77.5% of teams that were in a playoff position at American Thanksgiving would go on to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs later in the season.

Today, I'm going to take a look at the top-five candidates for the Calder Trophy, all of whom have played a key role in where their teams sit in the standings ahead of American Thanksgiving. Lets dive right into the list.

1) Lucas Raymond - Detroit Red Wings.

Raymond, 19, was the Red Wings first round pick, fourth overall, in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Instead of bringing him over from Sweden right away, Raymond spent the 2020-21 season with Frolunda HC in the SHL. Playing a full season against older competition worked wonders for Raymond's development, and it showed throughout the year as he recorded 0.52 points-per-game (18 pts in 34 games). He then went and played for Sweden at the 2021 World Juniors in Edmonton, where he had five points in five games.

The Gothenburg, Sweden native signed his entry-level contract with the Red Wings in April and came over to North America for his first NHL training camp in September. As was the expectation, Raymond made the team out of camp, and has gone on a tear ever since, recording 19 points (first among rookies) in 20 games, helping Detroit to an 8-9-3 record, which is good enough for fourth in the Atlantic division and one point out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

2) Moritz Seider - Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit's prospect pool is loaded with talent as Steve Yzerman and his scouting staff has done an incredible job of identifying players and drafting them. Their 2019 first round pick, Moritz Seider, sits second on my list.

The Zell, Germany native was selected sixth overall in 2019, and instead of returning to his home country, the Red Wings opted to assign him to their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins for the 2019-20 season where he had 22 points in 49 games. With the NHL not starting their 2020-21 season until January, the Red Wings assigned Seider to Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League, where he spent the entire season. Germany's World Junior management team wanted to name Seider to their roster for the 2021 tournament, but he decided to stay with Rogle BK to work on his development.

Seider came over to North America for training camp in September and made the team's opening night roster. In 20 games, Seider sits second in points with 13 while averaging 22:20 TOI.

3) Trevor Zegras - Anaheim Ducks.

The Anaheim Ducks currently sit third in the Pacific division. That's something didn't think I would be typing at all this season, but here we are. Rookie forward Trevor Zegras has played a huge part in Anaheim's early season success.

Zegras made his NHL debut last season, playing in 24 games for Anaheim, but is still eligible for the Calder Trophy as he meets the NHL requirements. If he played one more game last season, he wouldn't be eligible this year.

The Bedford, New York native has eleven points (six goals, five assists) in 17 games, which puts him fourth among rookies, and sixth on the Ducks roster.

4) Dawson Mercer - New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey sits one point out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 8-5-3 through sixteen games. A big reason why is 2020 first round pick, Dawson Mercer.

Mercer, 20, is currently tied for first in team scoring with twelve points (six goals, six assists) in sixteen games. The Carbonear, Newfoundland native had a big 2020-21 season, which set the stage for his jump to the NHL this fall.

In 23 games for Chicoutimi in the QMJHL last year, Mercer had 36 points. He also represented Canada at the 2021 World Juniors where he tallied six points in seven games, bringing home the silver medal.

5) Daniel Vladar - Calgary Flames.

The final name on my list is rookie goaltender Daniel Vladar of the Calgary Flames.

Vladar, 24, was drafted back in 2015 by the Boston Bruins. Since being drafted, he spent time in the AHL and ECHL, before making his NHL debut in the 2020-21 season. In late-July, Boston traded Vladar to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 third round pick.

The Prague, Czech Republic native has played in five games this season as Calgary's backup behind Jacob Markstrom, forming the NHL best goaltending duo to start the year. Calgary sits first in the Pacific division with a record of 11-3-5 through 19 games.

While it's hard to see a backup goaltender contend for the Calder Trophy, Vladar's numbers speak for themselves. In those five games, he has a record of 4-0-1 with a 1.57 G.A.A., a .946 save percentage, and two shutouts.

All five names on this list have had a great start to their 2021-22 campaigns, but will their production be sustainable throughout the entire year? Only time will tell.
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JOSH ANDERSON
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ALEXANDER ROMANOV
DEALING WITH BROKEN NOSE
Romanov broke his nose in Thursday's game versus the Avalanche, Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca reports.
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MATHIEU JOSEPH
STILL SIDELIEND
Joseph (undisclosed) won't play Thursday against St. Louis, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
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KIEFFER BELLOWS
OUT OF PROTOCOLS
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JORDAN BINNINGTON
TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
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ATLANTIC DIVISION
2021-2022 SEASON
TEAMSGPWLOLPTS
1
MAPLE LEAFS24176135
2
PANTHERS22154333
3
LIGHTNING21125428
4
RED WINGS24129327
5
BRUINS19118-22
6
SABRES22811319
7
CANADIENS24616214
8
SENATORS2041519
NHL STATS
LIVE
DECEMBER 2, 2021 G A PTS
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
1 4 5
SAM REINHART
1 3 4
AARON EKBLAD
2 1 3
VICTOR HEDMAN
2 1 3
KIRILL KAPRIZOV
2 1 3
RYAN HARTMAN
1 2 3
ALEX FORMENTON
2 - 2
VINNIE HINOSTROZA
2 - 2
ANTON LUNDELL
2 - 2
JASON ROBERTSON
2 - 2
  COMPLETE RESULTS
NHL STATS
SEASON
2021-2022GPGAPTS
LEON DRAISAITL
21202141
CONNOR MCDAVID
21152540
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN
+1
25191939
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
+5
2492033
NAZEM KADRI
+1
2192131
EVGENY KUZNETSOV
+1
2592029
KIRILL KAPRIZOV
+3
2391828
TIMO MEIER
+2
19111326
STEVEN STAMKOS
+1
22111426
AARON EKBLAD
+3
24101526
JOHNNY GAUDREAU
2391625
VICTOR HEDMAN
+3
2371725
JOHN TAVARES
23111425
MIKAEL GRANLUND
2452025
TROY TERRY
23151025
BRAD MARCHAND
1891524
SEBASTIAN AHO
+2
23101224
KYLE CONNOR
22141024
ROBERT THOMAS
+2
2422024
MATT DUCHENE
24131124
  COMPLETE STATS