With Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers in town for tonight’s game against the Bruins at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. puck drop), there’s no better time to take a quick look at the Calder Trophy race.
Myers, of course, won last year’s award as the top rookie in the NHL.
Entering this season, the Bruins had high hopes for 2010 No. 2 overall pick Tyler Seguin. However, for a while he wasn’t even the best rookie on his own team. But now Jordan Caron has gone from top-six forward to healthy scratch to Providence (AHL) standout, so Seguin has at least eliminated his in-house competition for the time-being.
In limited minutes, Seguin has posted 10 points (5 goals), which ranks him 13th in the rookie scoring race. Most of this season he has played center on the third line, but has recently been bumped over the wing next to returning playmaker Marc Savard. It says here that with less defensive responsibility and with the left-shooting Savard shoveling pucks to Seguin on the right wing, that rookie point total should increase and aid Seguin’s attempts to be in the Calder conversation.
Here’s a look at the stiffest competition Seguin’s facing right now in the battle to be the top rookie in the NHL:
Logan Couture of San Jose, a player the Bruins passed over in order to take Zach Hamill in 2007, is the leading goal-scorer among rookies with 12. He has 18 points and should continue to get plenty of minutes for a Sharks team that’s going to lean on him for secondary offense.
In Carolina, Jeff Skinner earned his way onto the NHL roster as a first-year pro and has hardly slowed down all season. With 20 points, he leads all rookies and has potted eight goals.
Jordan Eberle is now the league leader in assists by a rookie with 13 and also the point leader among his team’s first-year NHLers with 18. Of course, Eberle might be caught soon by teammate Taylor Hall. The No. 1 pick last June has heated up and now has 9-6-15 totals.
Former Boston University star Kevin Shattenkirk has been a revelation for injury-riddled Colorado with 4-10-14 totals from the blue line — the most points and goals by a freshman defenseman.
John Carlson was one of the Calder favorites when the season started and he has been solid on Washington’s blue line with 3-10-13 totals.
In Anaheim, Cam Fowler hasn’t let an early-season injury slow him down much and he has posted 2-10-12 totals.
Sergei Bobrovsky is a hot goaltender on one of the league’s premier teams in Philadelphia, so he’ll be in the mix all year. He sports a 14-4-2 record with 2.21 goals-against average and .925 save percentage going into tonight’s action.
The Capitals have gotten a great start from Michael Neuvirth with a 12-4-2 record, 2.66 GAA and .909 save percentage.
The goaltending situations in Chicago and Nashville might give Corey Crawford and Anders Lindback, respectively, a chance to get in the mix.
Obviously, there are other players with a chance to get some consideration going forward. Although he has been cast in a mostly supporting role to this point, Seguin has kept himself in the Calder race with solid contributions and could get to the head of the pack with an even-better final three quarters of the season.