Calder Trophy Watch: League leaders among rookies
After noticing how well Jeff Skinner has been performing lately (he scored one goal and two assists last night against Edmonton), I couldn’t help but wonder where he ranks among the best rookies so far this season. With that in mind, I thought I’d look through some of the most interesting stats among players eligible for the Calder Trophy.
Top 5 in the NHL in scoring among rookies (overall)
1. Skinner - 15 points in 15 games
Note: Skinner also leads rookies in goals scored, with six.
Tied for second place with eight points:
Jordan Eberle (13 games played); John Carlson (15 GP); Tyler Ennis (15 GP); Mark Letestu (15 GP)
Top 5 in time on ice per game
1. Carlson - 21:37 minutes per game
2. Jonas Holos - 21:21
3. P.K. Subban 21:17
4. Cam Fowler - 21:10
5. Matt Taormina - 20:48
The Top Two Picks from 2010
Taylor Hall - three goals and three assists for six points in 13 games played. He’s been getting 16:05 minutes per game and owns a -5 rating so far this season.
Tyler Seguin - three goals and two assists for five points in 11 games played. He averages 13:09 minutes per game and an even (0) rating so far this season.
Two goalies top the games won list among rookies:
1. Michal Neuvirth won nine in 13 starts.
2. Sergei Bobrovsky earned eight in 11 starts.
With these stats in mind, here are my early season picks for the three finalists for the Calder. Obviously, this list will probably change profoundly during the season.
He leads all rookie scorers by a five-point margin, with 15 in 15 games played. Like I wrote earlier, he also leads rookies in goals scored with six. Skinner might not soak up a bunch of minutes (16:28 per game) but that could change if he gets a nice amount of time on the team’s top line going forward. With an outstanding point per game pace, it would be tough to argue against that idea.
It’s a bit of a “jump ball” in my mind between “Bob” and Neuvirth, but I think the Russian rookie earns it from a quality over quantity standpoint. He’s 8-3-1 in 11 starts, earning only one less point that his Washington Capitals counterpart despite playing in three less games.
Most importantly in favor of him being on top, though, are his other numbers: a superior 2.19 GAA and elite 92.6 save percentage. Let’s not forget the fact that he has a funny last name, either, as Philadelphia writers might get the opportunity to write columns with “What about Bob?” in the headline. Gold.
That’s not to say that Neuvirth is far behind, though. He does indeed own more wins (9-8) while he plays behind an inferior defense (no Chris Pronger). Neuvirth also prevailed when the two rookies played against each other last weekend. His 2.46 GAA is second best behind Bobrovsky and his 91.2 save percentage is still well above the typical number for goalies.
To the surprise of few, the former AHL stud is already an asset for the Capitals. He leads rookie defenseman in points scored (8), which also ties him for second overall. As we discussed earlier, Carlson also leads rookies in minutes per game.
To close things out, here is a bonus video of Skinner’s impressive one-handed goal from last night.