There are four main players when it comes to the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) race in the NHL for the 2021-22 season. Read this article to see the top rookies and the many reasons why Mitch believes his choice to take home the Trophy at the end of the season.
The 2021-22 Calder Trophy Winner Will Be…
The Calder Trophy is awarded to the rookie of the year in the National Hockey League every season. In the NHL youth is always at a surplus in the league and this year there truly is no shortage of capable young players who are ready to make an immediate impact on their teams.
The race for the Calder Trophy will be a tight one and ultimately it seems it will come down to four players. Alex Nedeljkovic, the goalie who was recently traded to the Detroit Red Wings is a solid option as the Ohio native is getting a fresh start with the Wings this year. What may hold the young netminder back is the lack of wins the Red Wings may get this season.
Another name to look at is Spencer Knight, the goalie for the Florida Panthers who relished in his small stint for the Panthers in the playoff last year. Trevor Zegras, the 20-year-old center who was a first-round selection by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2019 NHL Draft is also another name that comes to mind when you think of potential Calder Trophy recipients.
All of these young men are fully capable of receiving the Calder Trophy at the end of this season. They all have a taste of the NHL experience already, what will help one of them become the trophy holder at the end of the season will be the success their team has and their impact on that success.
In 2019, the Montreal Canadiens selected a young man who was making his mark as a member of the University of Wisconsin’s hockey team. Cole Caufield is a 20-year-old right-wing from Stevens Point, Wisconsin who already possesses a plethora of hockey experience in his career.
Caufield quickly rose up the prospect rankings when he was a member of the United States National Team Development Program in the USHL from 2017-2019. He then committed and played two full seasons at the University of Wisconsin where he finished with 88 career points in 67 games played.
Last year after finishing the season with Wisconsin, Caufield signed his contract with the Canadians and was immediately involved in their plans. He played 20 games in their Stanley Cup playoff run and contributed four goals and eight assists.
This year the young forward comes with a wealth of experience the other three rookies don’t quite possess yet. He has also experienced the taste of defeat in the Stanley Cup FInals which can ultimately motivate a player to become great.
If the Montreal Canadians use Caufield in the manner they did during their 2020-21 cup run, expect Cole Caufield to run away with the Calder Trophy and continue to carve his name in the NHL history books.