Luke Hughes – Calder Trophy
We’ve covered this already. The Calder Trophy race might be the best race ever. Yes, even better than Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin, which the Capitals star won. (They both had 100 points in their rookie seasons. It was insane.) This season is better than that. Luke Hughes is obviously the top defenseman on the list, but he’s hardly the only defenseman. The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to find a way to bring David Jiricek up. Brandt Clarke is going to eventually be in Los Angeles.
However, outside of Hughes, it’s all about the forwards. Connor Bedard is an actual generational player. He looks like a future MVP and an easy pick for heir apparent to Connor McDavid. Adam Fantilli can be a spoiler in this race, looking great for the Blue Jackets. Matthew Knies is very good on a very good Maple Leafs’ team. Logan Cooley looks to be beyond NHL-ready for the Arizona Coyotes. Shane Wright has the story, and if he does anything, he will get a lot of votes.
However, Hughes has the luxury of being on one of the best teams in the league. He is going to get a ton of points because this offense is insane. He’ll also get power play time, and that looks like a positive this season.
Hughes is a great candidate for the Calder. Bedard is obviously the favorite, but his team (despite the win Tuesday night) is not going to be good.