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!


36 Responses to Don't Go Giving Away the Calder Just Yet!

  1. Lint07 says:

    Good article. You can also add Ovechkin’s name to the list.

  2. h8rangers says:

    Were are Ovechkin and Malkin?

  3. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Can’t count on Brule, Johnson, Kopitar, Ryan, or Pouliot either.

  4. Scruffy05 says:

    I believe he means can’t count out. Either way, for thes eplayer to challenge Sidney for the Clader depends on where they go. Sidney will be first line in Pittsburgh and playing a lot of minutes. Lots of minutes means lots of time to score. If one of these other players get put on a deep and talented team they may be no more than 2nd or 3rd line, which means less play time which equals hampered chance…

    Not saying they can’t do it however.

  5. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Yes I did mean count out, thanks for pointing that out.

  6. wingerxxx says:

    I like the gist of this article. If Crosby makes the team in Pittsburgh, he’s going to face tough checking attention. Ovechkin will too. The Calder is never a sure bet to go to anyone in the NHL.

  7. titans says:

    Ummm there’s this kid named Alexander Ovechkin whom I hear is gonna be pretty good.

  8. robster11 says:

    This is a intriguing article,

    After Bettman read the card I realized that the Penguins don’t really have any grinders that could give Crosby protection, besides Orpik, and since he’s so hyped up other teams will probably be gunning for him. I hope he doesn’t get banged up.

  9. leafstopgun says:

    Well i had the chance to watch dion play last year in red deer said it before he is gonna be a star man can he hit the kid was playing the wing late last season looked he belonged there great talent as for that russain kid dion said he will lay him out next year if they play each other and we all say the juniors opeckerhead has no heart in my mind. calgary flames have a gem on there hands with this kid lets go dion

  10. Flyer_Fan says:

    Great post!

    I think Mike Richards has an outside shot too.

  11. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    That’s why Mario is bringing in his old buddy Tie Domi.

  12. nordiques100 says:

    good read. people should lay off if he forgot ovechkin. i mean that kid has to sign a contract first and foremost anyway.

  13. Winged16 says:

    How many games do you have to have to officially get your ‘rookie’ season?

    Kronwall only played in 20 NHL games due to a broken leg, but dominated the AHL in the year off. He won the AHL top defensemen award last year as well.

    Not sure he’d be able to compete for calder w/this crop… and unless Sid tanks it, I think his name alone will carry him to calder. Still, I think Nik Kronwall is good enough to do it.

  14. salemnic says:

    And don’t forget Anaheim’s Corey Perry. Did pretty well for himself last year in the O

  15. zdeno_duchesne says:

    richards is a great player, but he’ll be more of a roleplayer than a numbers player.

  16. zdeno_duchesne says:

    i think the three players with the most votes next year are gonna be ovechkin, carter and lehtonen.. eventually going to lehtonen.

    crosby and malkin are great players, but without anything around them it might be tough..

    phaneuf – defensemen take a long time to develop. bouwmeester wasn’t a top guy in his eligible year, and he was outstanding. i can’t recall the last time a defenseman won it

    carter will likely be stuck on a low line in philly. if he ends up being higher on their depth charts i’ve give him tremendous consideration. he’s a goalscorer

    the rest are pretty good candidates, but lehtonen’s gonna be the catalyst of a booming thrashers team this season.. their fast skaters will fluorish in the new NHL

  17. zdeno_duchesne says:

    apologies – i forgot barrett jackman won the calder in 2003, berard in 1997, but you get where i’m coming from

  18. cgolding says:

    Carter will be centering one of the top-two scoring lines in Philly… based on our centers probably the only pure scoring line…

    Primeau will be matching up and Handzus will be matching up behind that…

  19. norutrat says:

    Dion Phaneuf will NOT be great in his first year… He might even be sent back to the AHL… Defensemen take longer to develop.. And as far as his hard hitting style… please.. THe NHL is different than junior hockey… In couple of years he’ll be a danger.. not now…

    My prediction for Rockie of the Year:

    Malkin

  20. Tweek says:

    I dont think Malkin can leave Russia until he gives some military service time or something like that, I dont exactly know but there is some reason that he may no be able to leave Russia yet…

  21. Tweek says:

    Ill go with Carter followed by Kari because Carter is simply a beast, he dominated the AHL playoffs so I think he is easily ready to slide into Philly and make a impact.

  22. zdeno_duchesne says:

    good call on phaneuf

  23. N25philly says:

    Richards was 4th in playoff scoring for the Phantoms despite only playing 14 of their 21 games and had nearly the exact same ppg as Carter

    Carter – 1.095 ppg

    Rishards – 1.071 ppg

  24. N25philly says:

    Richards was 4th in playoff scoring for the Phantoms despite only playing 14 of their 21 games and had nearly the exact same ppg as Carter

    Carter – 1.095 ppg

    Richards – 1.071 ppg

  25. N25philly says:

    Don’t forget Richards, he tore up the AHL playoffs too.

  26. h8rangers says:

    I think he got that worked out.

  27. Tweek says:

    then malkin could be a good choice because he’s huge and talented

  28. Aetherial says:

    Jeff Carter

    Mike Richards

    Cory Perry

    Ovechkin

    Malkin

    are also strong possibilities here.

    From watching the world Juniors… nobody impressed me as much as Malkin.

  29. dudemar says:

    Kronwall would still be considered a rookie as well as Marc-Andre Fleury. I don’t think Fleury will be pushing for the Calder but I’m sure there are more players like those two who will still be considered rookies.

  30. GlenSather says:

    unless he’s not eligable which i’m not sure, I believe the sleeper in this whole calder trophy race will be Fedor Tjutin of the New York Rangers. Tjutin was on the verge of becoming one of the leagues brightest young defenseman when the 03-04 season ended.

  31. WYflyerfan says:

    If they play him with mario and rechi he will have an incredible year and pretty much own the trophy.

  32. WYflyerfan says:

    Crosby is almost guaranteed the calder if they play him with mario and rechi. there is no way he won’t have less then 60 points with those two. They can make even domi look like a goal scorer imagine what they could do with a talented player like crosby. I like carter but he won’t have a playmaker like mario to play with. Roenick is good just not that good.

  33. AfroCon says:

    Crosby with anything around him? Lemieux and Recchi, although getting old are not nothing…

  34. zednik says:

    Of course anything is possible,

    But if I was a betting man, I would still have my chips on Crosby.

    -Z

  35. hejduk4life says:

    Marek Svatos

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