The Calder Trophy race is in full swing, and whereas a couple of high-profile rookies have struggled within the early going, a handful of unlikely names have compelled their means into the dialog.Sam Lafferty|Joe Sargent/NHLI through Getty ImagesWe can’t blame you if you happen to didn’t know who Sam Lafferty was earlier than the season began.
He didn’t even make the Pittsburgh Penguins out of coaching camp, as an alternative beginning the marketing campaign within the AHL. He was known as as much as Pittsburgh on an emergency foundation within the first week because of the accidents to Nick Bjugstad and Evgeni Malkin, however his position, and time spent up within the NHL, was undetermined.
However after posting 5 factors in two video games final weekend, Lafferty has seized the chance and given it all the things he has. Not too unhealthy for the ahead who by no means was a giant level producer within the NCAA earlier than embarking on his professional profession final yr.
Lafferty, a fourth-round decide by Pittsburgh in 2014 (113th general), might need some additional endurance within the NHL, regardless of the manufacturing coming in such a brief span. If his 49-point AHL rookie season is any indication, it’s that Lafferty has untapped potential that might lead the Penguins to maintain him up as soon as the workforce returns to full power. He tasks to be a powerful utility bottom-six ahead with the Pens, and he’s displaying off his scoring capability at a time when prime prospects Jack Hughes and Kakko Kappo are struggling to seek out the scoresheet themselves.
The Calder Trophy race is in full swing, and whereas a couple of high-profile rookies have stumbled within the early going, a couple of unlikely names have risen up into the dialog. Let’s check out 5 rookies who’re off to sturdy begins in 2019-20:
Ilya Samsonov, G, 22 (Washington)Are Braden Holtby’s days numbered in Washington? Samsonov beat out Pheonix Copley for the backup position to start out the season and has outperformed Holtby early on, with Samsonov holding a Three-1-Zero file and a .933 save share. Holtby, then again, was pulled after permitting targets on all three pictures he confronted on Monday, giving means for Samsonov to show himself. Holtby is a pending UFA, whereas Samsonov is the clear goalie of the longer term in Washington, nevertheless it wasn’t anticipated to occur this rapidly. Goalies all the time have a troublesome time competing for the Calder Trophy and if Holtby regains his kind, then Samsonov gained’t be a risk for the trophy, nevertheless it’s clear the longer term is now in Caps land.
Victor Olofsson, LW, 24 (Buffalo)Since we wrote about Olofsson earlier this season, he has solely gotten higher for a brand new and improved Sabres workforce. Earlier this week, Olofsson grew to become the primary NHLer to attain his first seven targets on the facility play, relationship again to his first two targets from final season. After all, there’s nonetheless some room to enhance on the 5-on-5 aspect of issues, however Olofsson has proven the potential to be a trusty goal-scorer. Because the Sabres proceed to toil close to the highest of the Japanese Convention, Olofsson has rapidly emerged as a Calder Trophy favourite because of his lethal shot and chemistry on the highest line with Jack Eichel. Clearly, it’s just a little unrealistic that he retains up together with his 82-point tempo, however he’s off to a implausible begin for the Sabres.
Cale Makar, D, 20 (Colorado)May Makar grow to be simply the fourth defenseman to win the Calder Trophy since 2000? He has lived as much as the hype early on in his profession, with six factors in as many video games, together with assists in each outing however the season opener in opposition to Pittsburgh. He’s nonetheless chasing his first purpose, however the Avs haven’t hesitated in giving Makar loads of power-play minutes and have opted to offer him heavy offensive zone begins (65.1 %), one thing that isn’t typically provided to 20-year-old defenders. His first purpose isn’t distant.
Ilya Mikheyev, LW, 25 (Toronto)Mikheyev has been an early-season phenom in Toronto, gaining followers and approval for his love for soup, after which sustaining his profile with stout on-ice play. Presently skating on a line with Alex Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen, Mikheyev, an undrafted free-agent signing this previous low season, has three targets and 6 factors by way of eight video games as a stable secondary scoring possibility for the Leafs. Mikheyev’s high-flying nature has blended in nicely with Kerfoot, and Mikheyev didn’t miss a beat when he lined up with Mitch Marner and John Tavares in opposition to Washington, so it’s good to see that coach Mike Babcock has religion within the younger Russian.
Trevor Moore, RW, 24 (Toronto)Mikheyev isn’t the one Leafs rookie off to a sizzling begin. Moore simply missed the cutoff that may have made him inelgible for the Calder Trophy this season by enjoying 25 video games in a depth position for the Leafs final yr. In eight contests this season, his 5 factors are simply three shy of tying his whole from 2018-19. Moore and Mikheyev hit it off within the early days of the season, and Moore has just lately seen time with Tavares on Toronto’s second line. The Leafs have an inflow of secondary choices on the wing, and Zach Hyman’s eventual return might shuffle issues round, however for now Moore has cemented his spot within the Leafs lineup for the long term.
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Tags: buffalo sabres, pittsburgh penguins, washington capitals, toronto maple leafs, colorado avalancheConnect: Concerning the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.