For the second year in a row, my first poll after the start of the new season is the one where I ask you to choose the three Calder Trophy finalists. In last season’s poll, your top vote-collector, Moritz Seider, actually won the Calder; and you also included another finalist – Trevor Zegras – among your top three. But only two voters out of 109 chose “One or more unnamed recruits” to cover the third runner-up – Michael Bunting – who was not a listed choice. How are you going to get out of it this time around? It’s time to find out!
Remember, you’re voting for Calder’s top three finalists, which doesn’t necessarily equate to the top three rookies in terms of fantasy value. Also, when you vote, you must choose exactly three of the 19 choices, because, of course, there will be as many Calder finalists. Unless you believe that one or more of the 19 players will not be finalists, in which case you must select “One or more unlisted recruits” either as your only vote (i.e. if you believe that none of the 19 listed players will only be a Calder finalist), or as one of your two votes (i.e., if you think only one of the 19 listed players will be a Calder finalist, and two will not ) or as one of your three votes (that is, if you think only two of the 19 players listed will be Calder finalists, and one will not).
That said, here are the 19 picks, listed in alphabetical order. The link to vote will be at the end of the column.
Calen Addison – I touted Addison in my 17 Fearless Forecasts column not just because he’s talented, as his success in the AHL last season amply demonstrated, but perhaps even more so because his path to the success for 2022-23 was much clearer than most rookies. After all, the Wild lacks a prototypical PP1 QB and was – and still is – too limited to go out and land one. Enter Addison, who already seems to be providing the kind of offense we saw from Seider, winner of Calder last year.
Matty Beniers – Top draft pick? Check! An impressive taste of the NHL? Check! Improved group of surrounding attackers? Check! Everything seems to be in place for Berniers to shine, although it’s never known if sustained success will come for such a young player amid a full 82-game season with the spotlight on him.
Alexander Holtz – It seems from the moment Holtz was drafted there were visions of him scoring dozens of goals thanks to Jack Hughes streams. And of course, it looks like Holtz is with the Devils for the long haul this season. The questions are whether he has the maturity to excel from the start and whether he gets a high-level deployment.
Kent Johnson – Still just 19, this season it’s more likely, given how he’s played and with whom, that Johnson will be with the Blue Jackets long term. And while there’s no shortage of centers who could land the coveted gig alongside Johnny Gaudreau, Johnson might have the most offensive talent. It’s just a matter of whether the team deems him ready, making him perhaps feast or famine for this season.
Wyatt Johnston – It looks like Dallas is trying to roll with three score lines, so Johnston is flanked by talented wingers. Considering he’s a teenager, the question is whether the Stars are willing to burn a year of his ELC to keep him with the club. Time will tell, as it always does; but if he stays, he could make some noise, especially if he keeps getting human advantage minutes.
Andrei Kuzmenko – The Russian winger has been used alongside Elias Pettersson this season as well as the top power play unit. With his maturity, not to mention his stellar performance in the KHL last season, you have to think that Vancouver will make room for him on a scoring line throughout the season. The question is whether his overseas success will translate to the NHL, or will he become another older non-American player who was here and then gone before you knew it. REMARK: Kuzmenko is not eligible for the Calder Trophy due to his age (26), so please don’t vote for him. It can’t be removed from the poll, so we’ll keep it in the article as well.
Nils Lundkvist – Sent to the stars this offseason, Lundqvist has gone from third in the pecking order for New York among right-handed defensemen, to arguably the top of the list in this area for Dallas. Plus, for all the hype that accompanies it, it’s unclear if Miro Heiskanen will be ready to shine as PP QB, in which case Lundqvist would likely have rolled out the red carpet for him. And even if that doesn’t happen, it should still have the ability to make some noise.
Mason McTavish – After a jaw-dropping performance at the WJC, poolers were thrilled that McTavish was ready for prime time in 2022-23. Sure, he’s been in the team and he might be able to carve out a place in the top six, although amid the additions of Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano, landing a starring role for the Ducks will certainly be more difficult this season than he had been. in recent campaigns.
Cole Perfetti – We’ve already seen Perfetti find himself in the top six at the end of 2021-22 and he certainly didn’t look out of place at all. So, unsurprisingly, he’s back with the club for this season and ready to pick up where he left off. And with a new manager behind the bench, chances are Perfetti will get the chance to prove he belongs, in which case he could rack up points playing alongside Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nikolaj Ehlers and/or Blake Wheeler. .
John-Jason Peterka – So far Peterka shines even with limited minutes and no PP usage. Usually that means one of two things will happen, that his solid game continues and he forces Buffalo’s hand, or that he’s unable to translate his meager ice time into results, writing his ticket. in the press box or even returning to the AHL.
Shane Pinto – After missing most of last season through injury, Pinto impressed in pre-season to such an extent that he could turn the Sens into a three-line threat. That’s if he’s not promoted to the top six to replace Josh Norris, who could be out for the long haul.
Owen Power – The former first overall pick is in an odd position in that the Sabers have another first pick in Rasmus Dahlin on their blue line. If last season was any indication, Power will play his fair share of minutes, but maybe not on PP1. Still, he’s certainly talented enough to perhaps force the issue, and even succeed despite not having enough time for PP.
Jack Quinn – With the sudden surplus of talented forwards on the Sabres, Quinn, whom many had identified as a surefire candidate for Calder, is mixed in and out of the lineup; and when he’s playing, he’s mostly used in the back six. Still, he’s 21 and last season showed he’s too talented for the AHL, so chances are he’ll stay in Buffalo and be able to take a break, whether it’s due to injury or otherwise.
Nick Robertson – It’s taken a while, but it looks like Robertson may be in Toronto to stay. And as we saw with Michael Bunting and Alexander Kerfoot last season, there are prime top-six spots up for grabs on the Leafs; so if Robertson can lock down one of those, he could be setting himself up for some big numbers.
Marco Rossi – First it was a long COVID, then he struggled in the AHL to salvage a season on his ELC. But the wait for Rossi to be a full-time member of the Wild is apparently over. He dazzled in the preseason, but that hasn’t translated – at least not yet – to the regular season, and it’s been over a decade since centers as short as him – think Derek Roy and Daniel Brière – had a significant impact on fantasy.
Jake Sanderson – Still only 20 years old, Sanderson commands significant minutes. And while no one envisions Sanderson stealing the No. 1 man role from Thomas Chabot anytime soon, Chabot hasn’t been a huge PP force, and neither has once touted Erik Brannstrom, leaving maybe – be the door open at least one crack for Sanderson to grab the job.
Juraj Slafkovsky – This season’s top pick came to camp with an NHL-ready physique and a desire to make an impact. And if there’s a team where that’s needed, it’s the Habs, who, even after Martin St. Louis arrived, were essentially a one-line team.
Logan Thompson – The only guard on this list, Thompson, who can be safely fired without overriding waivers, was likely destined for the AHL. But an injury to Robin Lehner, and the team having only Adin Hill and Laurent Brossoit as other options, positioned Thompson as the best bet to start for the Knights. Will he be up to the task? We will find out.
Shane Wright – The good news is he’s playing, but the bad news is he has yet to hit the ice for 10 hours in a single game. Is there a chance he will stay beyond nine games and, if so, make an impact? When talking about a player with Wright’s resume, never say never.
Are Calder’s three finalists on the list? You tell me! To repeat, your task is not to vote for the three rookies who will have the most fantasy value this season, but rather to predict which three players from those 19 you think will represent Calder’s three finalists for 2022-23. . Or, as noted above, you can choose “One or more unlisted rookies” instead of one, two, or all three of your votes, depending on whether you think one, two, or all three of the finalists Calder will be rookies other than the 19 specific picks. The key is that you should not vote for more than three rookies, as there will only be three Calder finalists. To vote, click here.
Planning note and questions for the Mailbag column
My monthly mailbag column is next week and I’m always looking for questions. To send me yours, private message “rizzeedizzee” via the DobberHockey Forums or email instead [email protected] with “Roos Mailbag” as the subject line.