ESPN’s Wyshynski discusses NHL award races, including the Calder Trophy

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski evaluates the NHL’s award races this morning, so you know that Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are mentioned in his Calder Trophy discussion:

Calder Trophy (top rookie)

Leader: Lucas Raymond, LW, Detroit Red Wings
Finalists: Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings; Trevor Zegras, C, Anaheim Ducks

The Calder Trophy race has been a wild one already. Preseason favorite Cole Caufield of the Montreal Canadiens was demoted to the AHL and has a goal and an assist in six games since returning. Bowen Byram, who was in the top three here last month, saw his season interrupted after an upper-body injury. He returned to the team on Nov. 27.

Leading the pack is Raymond, the 19-year-old standout for the Wings who has 22 points in his first 24 NHL games. He was the rookie of the year choice for 60% of the voters we surveyed, playing a top-line role with top-line minutes (17:11 per game) for Detroit.

His teammate Seider is the clear second choice, getting the nod on 30% of the ballots. He has 16 points in 24 games and is playing the most minutes on average (22:20) of any rookie skater — and the Red Wings aren’t protecting him in the least, like other rookie blueliners were in their breakout seasons. A very viable candidate for the Calder, especially if Raymond’s top line with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi cools down.

Zegras was the only other player to appear on the ballots. He was tied with Michael Bunting of the Leafs with 17 points, second overall behind Raymond. But two things that Bunting doesn’t have: He’s six years younger and has started hitting the highlight reel with McDavid-like frequency thanks to his innovative playmaking. And in some years, that can be all you need in the Calder race.

Two other rookies who were mentioned but not put at the top of voters’ ballots: Forward Dawson Mercer of the New Jersey Devils and Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, the latter of whom is trying to become a Calder finalist for the second straight season, which would be quite a quirky thing indeed.

Continued (paywall)

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.