|Matthews (left) and Laine|
The Calder trophy (best rookie) is special. For every other trophy, a player can be nominated multiple times, and win multiple times. But, you can only be nominated for the Calder once. If you win, congrats. If you lose, too bad. For the 2016-17 season, the NHL announced the finalists for the Calder. They are Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Matthews was the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. And by the looks of his first season, the Leafs made the right choice. He played in all 82 games, scoring 69 points (40 goals ad 29 assists). Only the best players in the world can score 40 goals in a season. To be a teenager and do it (Matthews is just 19 years old) is unreal.
After Matthews, Laine was drafted 2nd overall in 2016. He is compared to Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who is known for having one of the nastiest shots in NHL history. In 73 games this season, Laine scored 64 points (36 goals and 28 assists). To score a hatrick (3 goals in a single game) is very tough. Well, Laine scored a hatrick of hatrick during his rookie season.
Werenski, a defenseman, was drafted the year before Matthews and Laine, but still had a great rookie season. He played in 78 games, with 47 points (11 goals and 36 assists). The 19 year old was a +17. He\’s the
underdog in this race, and was at the start of the season too.
I think Matthews will win the Calder. Another fact that I didn\’t mention before is that Matthews lead the Leafs, who finished dead last in 2015-16 to the playoffs, While Laine\’s Jets went home early. Werenski lead the Jackets to the playoffs, but their offense was potent and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky should win the Vezina trophy (best goalie). Like I said, Matthews scored 40 goals. He tied with Nikita Kucherov for second in goal scoring in the entire NHL, behind Sidney Crosby. I just don\’t see him losing.