As the season reaches boiling point the debates about who will pick up the big accolades are the talk of all hockey fans. But the one question that has been on our mind this last week is who will in rookie of the year?
When Auston Matthews was drafted first during the off-season it was seen as the first blow in what would be a long battle with his rival Patrik Laine. You could have been forgiven for thinking that this was the start of Matthews heading Laine. But it hasn’t always been that way.
Matthews leads the way in goals, one ahead of his rival, and has really seemed to take his form from his formative years into the NHL. His game had matured to match his 6’2, 210-pound frame and he has coped with the pressure of playing in Toronto well.
Laine has come off the back of an injury before the season started. He then landed in Winnipeg from Finland to stake his claim for the rookie of the year. He is never short of confidence and big things lie ahead for him. His rivalry with Matthews looks set go on for years.
These two seem to be the main rivals for the Calder Memorial Trophy, but that is doing Mitch Marner a disservice. Like the other two, he has had an excellent season and his 39 points (28 assists and 11 goals) so far show that he has a great all-round game.
Who is your pick for the Calder Memorial Trophy? The voting is definitely going to be close.