McDavid’s Injury Opens Up Calder Race
The 2016 rookie class was always a good one, but things have changed dramatically in the Calder race during these past 24 hours. On Tuesday night playing Philadelphia, Connor McDavid crashed into the end boards after losing an edge and getting tied up with Michael Del Zotto. McDavid left the game and was later pronounced out ‘months’ with a broken left clavicle. Slated to be the next ‘Great One’, McDavid’s injury opens the door for other rookies to step in and seize the Calder.
The obvious new pick is Jack Eichel. Eichel just turned 19 last week and was drafted one pick behind McDavid. Eichel’s size makes him a dominating presence although he only has four points (all goals) through his first twelve games. There’s plenty of time for him to turn it around and he’s already on a good path even if the scoresheet doesn’t show it.
Max Domi has also made waves in his first season, keeping up with Connor McDavid and notching 11 points in 11 games for the Coyotes. The polar opposite of his dad, Max has shown signs of brilliance offensively and will combine with Anthony Duclair to be a lethal force for this season and beyond. He probably won’t continue at point-per-game numbers, but he’ll certainly be high up in the rankings for Calder votes.
Forwards Oscar Lindberg (NYR) and Artemi Panarin (CHI) have also gotten off to solid starts. Each have played 12 games and Panarin has 11 points while Lindberg has 9. They’re both long shots, but they’ve put up solid numbers to start the year and who knows where they’ll end up if they keep up on that pace.
Dylan Larkin has also been lighting up the scoresheet with 9 points in 12 games for Detroit. The 2014 draft pick was the first Red Wings teenager to score on his opening night since Steve Yzerman in 1983. He may see reduced ice time once Pavel Datsyuk which will hurt his statline.
Colton Parayko, Nik Ehlers, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton all have also gotten off to good starts.
McDavid could still easily come back and take it, but his injury opens the door for some of these young players to swoop in and take the prize. My guess from this point forward would be either Domi or McDavid.