I not too long ago listed my top five candidates for the Calder Trophy in addition to some honorable mentions. Now, we’re going to take a better have a look at one prospect to observe from every of the 32 NHL golf equipment, specializing in gamers who might make an affect within the NHL this coming season.
Anaheim Ducks: Mason McTavish
A 3rd-round choice within the 2021 NHL Draft, McTavish appears to be like able to make the leap to the NHL full-time this season. He was despatched again to the OHL after showing in 9 video games with the Ducks final season. It was a profitable 12 months for McTavish; he received the OHL Championship with the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Gold Medal with Team Canada on the IIHF World Junior Championship wherein he was named match MVP. He performs a powerful and imply sport and has a knack for being net-front, which in return permits for him to pounce on free pucks and bang house rebounds. With the Ducks in a rebuilding stage, McTavish will certainly be a participant the membership molds its future round.
Arizona Coyotes: Jack McBain
Toronto product McBain was initially chosen within the third spherical of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild. McBain spent the final 4 seasons within the NCAA with Boston College, the place he received two Hockey East championships. Last season, he registered 19 objectives and 33 factors in 24 video games with the Eagles and was named to the NCAA Second All-American crew. Following his school tenure, McBain requested a commerce, and he wound up dealt to the Arizona Coyotes for a second-round decide. He made his NHL debut on April 12 towards the New Jersey Devils. He completed the season with two objectives and three factors in 10 video games. The 6-foot-4 energy ahead has a well-rounded mixture of dimension and ability, and whereas his developmental path has been a little bit of a course of, he appears heading in the right direction to having a stable first full season of competitors.
Boston Bruins: John Beecher
One of a number of former Michigan Wolverines on this listing, Beecher was chosen thirtieth general by the Bruins within the 2019 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-3 Elmira, New York product is a dynamic middle who makes use of his dimension and steadiness to play a powerful net-front sport. Following his NCAA tenure, Beecher joined the Bruins’ AHL farm crew, the Providence Bruins, on which he registered 5 factors in 9 video games. While Beecher will doubtless begin the season in Providence, don’t be stunned to see him on the NHL stage this season. Top prospect Fabian Lysell is clearly a reputation to observe, too, although he’s nonetheless eligible to return to main junior.
Buffalo Sabres: Owen Power
Power wants no introduction. He is the second Wolverine alumni to seem on the listing and fairly frankly the favourite to win the Calder Trophy this season. The 6-foot-6 defenseman is coming off a powerful NCAA marketing campaign registering 32 factors in 33 video games. He even bought a style of the NHL final season, showing in eight video games and totalling three factors. As Power units to embark on his NHL profession, it shouldn’t take him lengthy to seek out his sport and excel on the subsequent stage as he has constantly carried out all through his profession.
Calgary Flames: Jakob Pelletier
Pelletier is a former QMJHL famous person who, all through 210 video games, registered 107 objectives, and 168 assists for 275 factors. Pelletier was additionally named the QMJHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player within the 2019-20 season and named to the QMJHL First All-Star crew in 2020-21. He made his AHL debut final season with the Stockton Heat – now the rebranded Calgary Wranglers, the place he registered 62 factors in 66 video games. While he has by no means been the most important or strongest ahead on his crew, Pelletier makes up for that along with his killer intuition; he’s an opportunistic participant who will pounce on any open probability to get his crew on the board. He is a pure playmaker who possesses nice velocity, good imaginative and prescient and a high-end shot. Pelletier has all the fitting instruments to interrupt out because the Flames’ subsequent large younger gun.
Carolina Hurricanes: Jack Drury
Jack Drury has had a little bit of a journey to get to the NHL. The nephew of former NHLer and present New York Rangers GM Chris Drury was chosen within the second spherical of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. Following his tenure with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League, the previous captain dedicated to Harvard University the place he performed for 2 seasons. Then in 2020-21, he went to Sweden and performed for the Växjö Lakers HC within the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and registered 30 factors in 41 video games. Last season, he made his charming NHL debut in December of 2021 and scored his first NHL purpose in his first sport. Drury would end the season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, scoring 52 factors in 68 video games. During the Wolves’ magnificent post-season run, Drury totalled 24 factors in 18 video games and was a key part to the Wolves profitable the Calder Cup. Drury brings a combo of offensive flare and powerful defensive tendencies that might swimsuit him effectively for a bottom-six function inside the Canes’ system.
Chicago Blackhawks: Lukas Reichel
German sensation Reichel is coming off a serious AHL debut season the place he registered 21 objectives and 57 factors in 56 video games with the Rockford IceHogs. Reichel was chosen seventeenth general within the 2020 NHL Draft. He is an unrelenting forechecker who’s a pest to play towards. He by no means provides up on a play and oftentimes will battle by way of second efforts to retain puck possession. He possesses good velocity and puckhandling talents that enable him to make maneuvers at a excessive charge of velocity. Rating among the many greatest prospects within the Blackhawks’ pipeline together with Frank Nazar and Kevin Korchinski, Reichel ought to make an affect on the NHL stage this season if he can persist with the large membership.
Colorado Avalanche: Ben Meyers
The hottest NCAA free agent final season was University of Minnesota Golden Gophers captain Ben Meyers. Meyers registered 41 factors in 34 video games final season with the Golden Gophers and was named the NCAA B1G Player of the Year. While there was numerous attraction to the Hobey Baker finalist, Meyers in the end selected the Colorado Avalanche as his vacation spot. He made his NHL debut on April sixteenth and scored his first NHL purpose in a 7-4 win for the Avalanche. Meyers additionally represented the United States at each the Olympic Games and the IIHF World Championships this 12 months, registering 12 factors in 14 video games in complete on the worldwide stage. He will look to assist the defending Stanley Cup champions go back-to-back.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Kent Johnson
The third Wolverine to finish up on this listing is the magician himself, Johnson. He can be listed in my prime Calder candidates piece. The former fifth general decide goes to be a participant to control this season. He registered 29 assists and 37 factors in 32 video games final season within the NCAA. Johnson additionally represented Canada on the worldwide stage on three completely different events; the Olympic Games, the World Championship, and the World Juniors. He is a gifted participant whose creativity is off the charts. In a sport the place trick-dekes are gaining popularity, Johnson makes it look easy. With his mixture of creativity, velocity, imaginative and prescient, and elite hockey IQ, he’s a particular playmaker who might discover fast success on the professional stage.
Dallas Stars: Wyatt Johnston
While I thought of slotting Ty Dellandrea right here, I need to consider Johnston goes to play within the NHL this season. The OHL MVP obliterated the competitors final season, registering a whopping 46 objectives and 78 assists for a CHL-best 124 factors in 68 video games. Followed up by a stellar post-season run that noticed him notch 41 factors in 25 video games. Johnston was awarded the OHL Most Outstanding Player and OHL Most Sportsmanlike Player. A artistic dynamo, Johnston understands tips on how to make the most of pockets of house and might get himself in open positions commonly. He is a gifted playmaker who makes use of his elite hockey IQ and imaginative and prescient to creatively go or intention photographs on the web for teammates to select up corralling rebounds. Johnston’s brainy sport ought to translate effectively to the professional stage.
Detroit Red Wings: Simon Edvinsson
Edvinsson was listed within the honorable mentions part of my prime 5 Calder Trophy candidates piece. The monster Swedish defender makes use of his giant and burly body to knock pucks free and shut down opposing attackers with ease. He discovered success on the SHL stage final season. As an 18-year-old he registered 19 factors in 44 video games with Frölunda HC. Despite a shaky World Juniors efficiency, Edvinsson ought to have minimal points adjusting his sport to the professional stage. He is a technically expert defenseman who makes use of his good skating and mobility to play a powerful sport in his zone. He is poised and easy on the blueline, using his sturdy hole management and attain to achieve possession from opposing attackers. Look for Edvinsson to change into a staple on the Red Wings’ protection.
Edmonton Oilers: Dylan Holloway
Calgary product Holloway was the Edmonton Oilers’ 14th general decide within the 2020 NHL Draft. The former University of Wisconsin Badger performed two seasons within the NCAA earlier than making the bounce to the AHL final season with the Bakersfield Condors. Despite a season riddled with accidents, Holloway registered 22 factors in 33 video games and 4 factors in 5 video games all through the AHL playoffs. He made his NHL debut in the course of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. Holloway performs the sport at a constant charge each evening which might make him appropriate for a bottom-six function this season. Whether it’s making well timed hits, making use of excessive stress on backchecks or utilizing his unbelievable offensive instincts to arrange performs, he does all of it. Holloway shall be a key participant to control this season as as to whether he begins the season with the Oilers or the Condors.
Florida Panthers: Grigori Denisenko
To say it’s been a rollercoaster trip for Florida Panthers 2018 first-round decide Denisenko could be an understatement. Denisenko grew up within the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey program in Russia, and earlier than making his NHL debut in 2020-21, he performed two seasons within the KHL, registering a complete of 18 factors in 63 video games. Denisenko additionally captained Russia on the 2020 World Juniors and registered 9 factors in seven video games, taking house a silver medal. He leaped to the professional stage in 2020-21, enjoying in seven video games for the Panthers and registering 4 assists. Last season, he appeared in only one sport with the Panthers and primarily spent the season with the Charlotte Checkers within the AHL. He had 18 factors in 30 video games and it was later revealed he sustained a damaged kneecap in January and had been enjoying with the damage. Denisenko is a high-skill winger who boasts great skating agility and ending talents. Once wholesome, he ought to make the transition to the Panthers roster full time. Given how depleted the Panthers’ ahead depth is, 12 months over 12 months, they badly want Denisenko to stay.
Los Angeles Kings: Alex Turcotte
While the Kings have a number of nice prospects coming by way of their pipeline, no one is due for a much bigger bounce than 2019 fifth general decide Turcotte. The son of former NHLer Alfie Turcotte, the youthful Turcotte is the second Badger alumni to seem on the listing following Oilers’ Holloway. Turcotte has spent the final two seasons within the AHL with the Ontario Reign, whereas additionally getting in a mixture of NHL video games final season. In 27 video games final season with the Reign, he registered 18 factors. Turcotte is an especially aggressive two-way centre with good fingers and imaginative and prescient that enhances his capability to learn the ice and make high-end performs. His standing to open the 12 months is in query due to lingering issues from two concussions he suffered final season, nonetheless.
Minnesota Wild: Marco Rossi
Arguably a darkish horse to win the Calder Trophy this season. If the Austrian sensation Rossi can bounce again to pure Rossi kind, the Minnesota Wild are in nice fingers. Rossi possesses distinctive hockey sense and is a grasp at exploiting an opposing crew’s weaknesses. He has nice defensive tendencies and forechecking capability that makes him a pest to go up towards. The ninth general decide within the 2020 Draft is shaping as much as be a fan favourite in Minnesota. He had a really profitable AHL marketing campaign with the Iowa Wild, registering 53 factors in 63 video games final season. If he can replicate that on the NHL stage, the sky is the restrict.
Montreal Canadiens: Juraj Slafkovsky
2022 first general decide Slafkovksy ought to come as no shock as my decide right here. During Montreal Canadiens coaching camp, the 2022 Olympic MVP and Slovakian participant of the 12 months weighed 238 kilos, making him one of many largest gamers within the NHL. However, he brings extra to the desk than simply dimension and energy; he has an awesome sense of consciousness that permits him to show possessions into scoring possibilities for himself or his linemates. Last season he registered 10 factors in 31 video games within the Finnish Liiga and 7 objectives in seven video games in the course of the 2022 Olympics. His domination on the worldwide stage is in the end what boosted his draft inventory. If he can translate that play to the NHL, Slafkovsky can change into a dominating pressure.
Nashville Predators: Egor Afanasyev
Another prospect who has had fairly the journey to get to the NHL, Nashville Predators 2019 second-round decide Afanasyev is not any stranger to transferring. He performed minor hockey with the Little Ceasars Under-16 program earlier than becoming a member of the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. Then, he made the transfer to the OHL and joined the Windsor Spitfires, scoring 31 objectives and 67 factors in 62 video games in his first 12 months of main junior competitors. The 6-foot-4 energy ahead performs a imply sport and possesses a monster shot that he can let go from nearly wherever on the ice. His dimension and energy enable him to push previous defenders and win board battles rapidly. Last season he performed for the Milwaukee Admirals and registered 33 factors in 74 video games. Watch for Afanasyev to swimsuit up with the Preds this season.
New Jersey Devils: Alexander Holtz
One of the purest purpose scorers from the 2020 Draft, Swedish sniper Alexander Holtz appears to be like to be able to make the bounce to the NHL full time after a dominating rookie season with the Utica Comets. Holtz registered 26 objectives and 51 factors in 52 video games final season within the AHL, making him among the best gamers on the Comets. A primary-line finisher, Holtz is a real sniper. The 20-year-old has an actual probability to crack the Devils’ opening evening roster.
New York Islanders: Robin Salo
2017 second-round decide, Salo appears to be like poised and able to lastly make the full-time leap to the NHL. Last season, Salo appeared in 21 video games with the Islanders however primarily spent the season with the Bridgeport Islanders of the AHL. He registered 20 factors in 40 video games. The 23-year-old, Espoo, Finland native is efficient in all three zones and is a defenseman who can be utilized in all conditions. He has sturdy skating and mobility and is poised on the blueline. Salo has all the fitting instruments to change into a top-four defenseman on the professional stage.
New York Rangers: Vitali Kravstov
Kravtsov and the New York Rangers have had a rocky relationship. However, it appears they’ve rekindled it and made up. Kravtsov is a giant, highly effective Russian winger who supplies grit and scoring and can be utilized in any function. The ninth general decide of the 2018 NHL Draft, he has bounced between the KHL, the Rangers, and the Hartford Wolf Pack. Last season he spent the 12 months with Traktor Chelyabinsk within the KHL, registering 13 factors in 19 video games and 10 factors in 15 video games in the course of the playoffs. Kravtsov has all the fitting traits to change into a top-six ahead within the Rangers system. If he can show his price at camp, will probably be a giant enhance for not solely Kravtsov however the Rangers group.
Ottawa Senators: Jake Sanderson
After many enormous adjustments within the capital metropolis, Sanderson appears to be like to cement his identify with the Ottawa Senators. Sanderson is among the honorable mentions I listed in my top-five Calder candidates piece. The former University of North Dakota defenseman registered 26 factors in 23 video games final season and was named to the NCAA (West) first All-American crew. Sanderson is a modern-day two-way defenseman who has a blistering shot and distinctive defensive hockey IQ. He has what it takes to change into a famous person defender and is a participant who will certainly be capable of discover himself in a top-four function with the Senators early on in his profession.
Philadelphia Flyers: Noah Cates
Former University of Minnesota Duluth captain Cates discovered himself on the Philadelphia Flyers roster final season after the top of his NCAA tenure. The 6-foot-1, 163-pound winger registered 24 factors in 37 video games final season and helped the Bulldogs win the NCHC Championship. Cates, alongside along with his brother Jackson, additionally received the NCAA Championship collectively in 2019. Cates, a fifth-round decide within the 2017 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut on March 29 and scored his first NHL purpose on April fifth. He appeared in 16 video games and registered 9 factors. Cates brings a excessive sense of hockey IQ and tenacity to the desk. He ought to slot in effectively with the Flyers group and can doubtless be located within the backside six this season.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Valtteri Puustinen
2019 seventh-round choice Valtteri Puustinen dominated the Liiga in 2020-21, scoring 21 objectives and 41 factors in 51 video games, setting his identify in stone as a reliable prospect for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has already managed to know the professional stage after a profitable rookie season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The 23-year-old registered 20 objectives and 42 factors in 73 video games this previous season. He made his NHL debut on March 11 and picked up an help. Puustinen is a small however highly effective and explosive winger who has an awesome shot and nice playmaking talents that give him the sting to play up and down the lineup. Puustinen will battle for a closing roster spot forward of the season opener.
San Jose Sharks: William Eklund
The former Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year and SHL Rookie of the Year, Eklund appeared in 9 video games final season with the San Jose Sharks, registering 4 assists. He went again to Sweden and was on mortgage to Djurgårdens IF, the place he performed the SHL season. Eklund completed with 14 factors in 29 video games. The Swedish playmaker has a endless motor and performs at a excessive tempo that permits him to manage the tempo of the sport. Whether or not it’s discovering an open house to get a shot off, or a go possibility, Eklund is all the time working. Eklund shall be a serious participant to control as he appears to be like to contend for one more rookie trophy, this time the Calder.
Seattle Kraken: Matty Beniers
The franchise’s first-ever choice was ranked second on my Calder candidates piece and is arguably the favourite ahead to win the trophy. Beniers is coming off a monster NCAA season the place he scored 20 objectives and 43 factors with the loaded Wolverines squad. He appeared in 10 NHL video games final season with the Seattle Kraken and completed with 9 factors, making his mark on the NHL rapidly. The dynamic middle is a high-pace puck transporter who makes use of his velocity and tempo to manoeuvre previous defenders with ease. Beniers can be stable defensively, possessing nice problem-solving talents. He shall be a key participant relied upon for the Kraken this season.
St. Louis Blues: Scott Perunovich
The second University of Minnesota-Duluth alumnus to seem on this listing, St.Louis Blues 2018 second-round decide Perunovich had himself an awesome rookie season within the AHL. He registered 22 factors in 17 video games with the Springfield Thunderbirds and solidified himself as a prime defensive prospect. He performed 19 video games with the Blues final season, placing up six assists, and even made his Stanley Cup playoff debut, registering 4 assists in seven video games. The offensive defenseman has nice passing tendencies and is a participant who can quarterback an influence play. He has a giant probability to emerge and break into the Blues lineup this season.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Gabriel Fortier
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been on the prime of the NHL ladder for some time now, however their prospect pool has slim pickings because of this. However, former Moncton Wildcats captain Fortier appears to be rising as a reliable prospect for the Bolts. Last season, he performed out his second AHL season with the Syracuse Crunch, registering 35 factors in 72 video games. His efficiency was sufficient to earn a few call-ups, and he appeared in 10 video games with the Bolts and scored his first NHL purpose towards the Vegas Golden Knights. Fortier’s greatest asset is his defensive capability, as he’s a pest to opposing defensemen on the forecheck and has a by no means give up perspective. He is a participant that would slot in nice with the Bolts’ present bottom-six regiment.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Nick Robertson
Robertson was chosen within the second spherical of the 2019 NHL Draft and has already taken the throne as one of many top-end prospects within the Maple Leafs’ pipeline. He is a shifty offensive dynamo who has a rocket of a shot and excessive hockey IQ. The former OHL main purpose scorer spent final season with the Toronto Marlies, the place he registered 16 objectives and 28 factors in 28 video games. He appeared in 10 video games on the NHL stage and scored his first NHL purpose towards the Vancouver Canucks in March. Robertson, the youthful brother of Dallas Stars sensation Jason Robertson, appears to be like to solidify himself as a everlasting NHLer.
Vancouver Canucks: Andrei Kuzmenko
One of the most popular free brokers out of Russia and the oldest first-year NHLer on this listing shall be trying to make a reputation for himself right here in North America. While Kuzmenko is 26 years outdated, he has but to play an NHL sport. However, he’s too outdated to be eligible for the Calder. Kuzmenko registered 53 factors in 45 video games final season with SKA St. Petersburg within the KHL and 14 factors within the postseason. Kuzmenko was named to the KHL First All-Star crew. He is an elite-level skater with unbelievable playmaking talents that make him a pure risk each time he’s on the ice. If Kuzmenko can replicate his KHL stats, the Canucks have landed themselves a future NHL star.
Vegas Golden Knights: Logan Thompson
Calgary native and undrafted goaltender Thompson has had fairly the journey to get to the NHL, which noticed stops within the WHL, USports, ECHL and AHL. Thompson was a standout goalie within the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings the place he received the WHL Championship in 2015-16. After going undrafted, and graduating from the WHL, Thompson opted to play USports and attended Brock University, the place he posted a 2.22 objectives towards common and a .934 save proportion. He was named USports Goaltender of the Year. Following that efficiency, he was signed by the Vegas Golden Knights. In 2020-21, Thompson starred for the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL and posted a 1.96 GAA and a 16-6-2 file, Thompson was named the AHL’s Best Goaltender and held the AHL’s greatest save proportion. He appeared in 19 video games final season with the Golden Knights and appeared able to leap again up full-time. Thompson ought to get one other main alternative to step up as soon as once more with the Golden Knights this season since Robin Lehner isn’t anticipated to play till 2023-24.
Washington Capitals: Hendrix Lapierre
The 2020 twenty second general choice Lapierre has been described as a blinding puck provider who possesses elite puckhandling expertise. Last season, he suited up for six video games with the Washington Capitals and scored his first NHL purpose towards the New York Rangers. After his trial run within the nation’s capital, he was despatched again to the QMJHL the place he registered 51 factors in 40 video games with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He has a ton of ability, and whereas there are numerous questions surrounding his growth, which has been slowed by accidents previously, Lapierre will doubtless problem for a roster spot as soon as once more.
Winnipeg Jets: Cole Perfetti
An offensive stud and the perfect prospect within the Winnipeg Jets system, Perfetti appears to be like to make himself a family identify on the NHL stage. A cerebral puck provider who can drawback resolve his method by way of variables at a excessive charge of velocity, he can have his work reduce out for him come coaching camp. Perfetti spent final season within the AHL with the Manitoba Moose, registering 15 factors in 17 video games. He made his NHL debut on October thirteenth towards the Anaheim Ducks and scored his first NHL purpose in January. Perfetti is a favourite amongst Jets followers and has solidified himself as the highest prospect for the membership. It will surely come as a shock to see Perfetti begin the season within the AHL this 12 months, in spite of everything, he’s a darkish horse to win the Calder Trophy.