The National Hockey League has not made an official statement regarding the 2020-21 season but despite that, hockey still manages to worm its way into the crevices of the corn kernel I have for a brain. The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded at the end of every season as the NHL equivalent of Rookie of the Year. I have already talked about this year’s draft picks and I am excited to see who dominates right out of the gate.  

I have permanently installed a Judging Cap (like a Thinking Cap, but mean) and I will now rank like…probably the last 10…Calder Trophy winners. Enjoy. 

10. Auston Mattews- Toronto Maple Leafs- 2017 

Auston Mattews is a respectable player. He scored four goals in his first game in the NHL, and 40 that season with 69 points. However, I literally cannot stand Auston Matthews. His mustache? Horrendous. His attitude? Far too cocky. Who spells Auston with an O? We all know about that thing that happened that one night in Arizona and we all know that the only thing the league and the Leafs did was take away the captainship. Hm.

9. Jonathan Huberdeau- Florida Panthers- 2012-13

Jonathan Huberdeau’s rookie season was unfortunately cut short to 48 games due to the NHL Lockout. He scored 14 goals and 31 points and averaged about 17 minutes per game. That sounds great for 48 games, and it is but, in my opinion, he only got rookie of the year because it was a shortened season. If Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames) and Freddie “The Fridge” Andersen (Toronto Maple Leafs) had a child, it would look like this man.

8. Aaron Ekblad- Florida Panthers- 2014-15

A defenseman and alternate captain for the Florida Panthers, this blueliner took home the Calder just two years after his teammate, Huberdeau. I didn’t know a single player on the Panthers until approximately 7 minutes ago and I don’t care to learn anymore. 8 for Ekblad. 

Aaron Ekblad
Ranking the Last Ten Calder Memorial Trophy Winners (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

7. Jeff Skinner- Carolina Hurricanes- 2010-11

Skinner was selected seventh overall in the 2011 draft behind names like Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. His win came as a bit of a surprise. He finished third among rookies in goals and assists. He consistently has scored no higher than 63 points, in fact, he’s hit that exact total three times now. Sounds a bit suspicious to me…….

Jeff Skinner
(Canes Country-Jamie Kellner)

6. Artemi Panarin- Chicago Blackhawks- 2015-16 

Panarin didn’t leave Russia until he was 24 years old. He was the oldest Calder Trophy winner since Evgeni Nabokov in 2000-01. Panarin managed 77 points in 80 games. He probably would have not been selected if Connor McDavid hadn’t been injured that season. 

Artemi Panarin
(Sarah Stier- Associated Press)

5. Gabe Landeskog- Colorado Avalanche- 2011-2012

Captain Landy. Prince Gabe. King of Avs Country. He was selected second overall in the 2011 draft and went to play all 82 games at the NHL level that season. He was tied with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for points for most of the season but managed to scoot above him with a plus 20 rating before the end of the season. 

Gabe Landeskog
Ranking the Last Ten Calder Memorial Trophy Winners (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

4. Mathew Barzal- New York Islanders- 2017-18 

Mathew was selected 16th overall in the 2015 entry draft but finished his career in the minors before making the transition to the NHL. He went 6 games without a point but by the close of regular season, he had outscored the second-leading scorer, Clayton Keller, by 22 points. The 20-year-old center skated away with 85 points, the first to surpass the 80 point mark since 2006-07. 

Mathew Barzal
(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

3. Elias Petterson- Vancouver Canucks- 2018-19 

There was a lot of big fat juicy hype around Elias Petterson going into his rookie season. He surprisingly exceeded everyone’s expectations despite missing 11 games due to a concussion and knee injury. I actually have nothing mean to say about Petey, he’s a very talented hockey player and the Canucks need to hold on very tightly to him. 

Elias Petterson
(Pierre LeBrun)

2. Cale Makar- Colorado Avalanche- 2019-20 

Living in Gabe’s Kingdom, homie had a lot to live up to. His rookie season was unfortunately cut short due to…that whole…uhhh…global pandemic…or whatever. The season was cut to 68 games and Makar missed about 8 games due to an “upper body injury”. He had 50 points in 57 games and was the first Avalanche defenseman to win the Calder.  

Cale Makar
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

1. Nathan Mackinnon- Colorado Avalanche- 2013-2014

It was obvious the moment Mackinnon stepped on the ice his first night at the Pepsi Center, the Avs had snatched a superstar. He was selected first overall by the Avs in the 2013 draft and has since failed to disappoint. He put up 24 goals and 63 points that year, outscoring his captain’s rookie year by 11 points.   

Nathan MacKinnon
(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, my corn kernel brain lost the motivation and ran out of time to write about Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin or Alexander Ovechkin but I wouldn’t dare put them on the same list as Awstyn Ostin Oughston Austin Aasten Ahstun Aweston Owsten Auston MatthEWs. Maybe next time. 

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