Don't Go Giving Away the Calder Just Yet!
As we all know next season will be Sidney Crosby’s rookie season in the National Hockey League, and with the “phenom” label already placed on him people are ready to declare “the kid” as rookie of the year, unfortunately for Sid the Kid this year’s Freshman crop is full of a few amazing players who could challenge him for the Calder.
(Note: remember the 92-93 season when Eric Lindros began his career and Teemu Selanee set records left, right and centre and Lindros finished 3rd in the Calder balloting)
1) Dion Phaneuf (Calgary) – The Calgary Flames have to be salivating at the thought of a new CBA which will help keep them competitive, but their fans are also excited at the thought of seeing Big Dion on the Blueline in Calgary, he should excel in the Western Conference (somewhat like Barrett Jackman) and could easily compete for the Calder Trophy if the next player listed could steal the Calder…
2) Kari Lehtonen (Atlanta) – This player has been The Hockey News Top Prospect two years in a row, also in his NHL debut last season he was undefeated in 4 games, it’s debateable that this season with Lehtonen on the team the Thrashers could have been a force in the East, keep a close eye on Lehtonen this year coming up.
3) Jeff Carter (Philadelphia) – The fact that Carter tore up the AHL in the playoffs with the Phantoms this past spring, and the fact that he has been assured of a starting spot with the Flyers.
4) Tomas Vaneck (Buffalo) – He tore up the AHL this past year and seems to be the natural selection to replace Satan when he leaves Buffalo, and he might even look fun on a line with Danny Briere and JP Dumont.
5) Zach Parise (New Jersey) – Year after year the New Jersey Devils produce, and Parise is the real deal even though the team is deep in talent already Parise could be one of the most talented players on the team.
6) Chris Higgins (Montreal) – lightning could strike twice in the same place and we could see another rookie contribute this year, similar to the heroics of Michael Ryder, Higgins is a hardnosed player who can put a puck in the net, long stretch that he could win the Calder… But let’s not forget Joe Juneau once piled up points and finished second in voting…
7) Braydon Cobourn (Atlanta) – Another hard playing d-man who should be able to make the jump from Junior to the NHL (and likely would have had there been a season last season) should be a mainstay in Atlanta for years to come.
It’s going to be an exciting year, kids!