Rookie Report: January Calder Poll

By Stephen J. Holodinsky





New Page 2


Last
month, Trent Hunter sat atop the Calder Poll followed by Joni Pitkanen with
former No. 1 Marc-Andre Fleury in fourth place. Thanks to some big months by a
couple other rookies, we have a new top two and Fleury, since sent down to his
junior team, has fallen completely out of the poll. Without further ado, here is
January’s Calder Poll of Hockey’s Future staff.

 

Last Month
This Month
Team
Player

6

1
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MON



Michael Ryder




With
a month of six goals and ten assists, the Montreal forward vaults to the No.
1 spot in our poll. Versatile enough to play all three forward positions,
Ryder seems to have found a home at right wing on the Habs top line with Jan
Bulis and Saku Koivu.


7
2
BOS


Andrew Raycroft

In 10 January starts, Raycroft
has given up more than two goals once, notched a pair of shutouts versus
Detroit and Montreal and seen his save percentage climb from .919 to .931
as well as his goals against average drop from 2.16 to 1.92. Needless to
say, he has out-dueled Felix Potvin for the No. 1 job in Boston now.

1
3

NYI


Trent Hunter



After hitting
a bit of a wall in early January, Hunter has come alive again, notching five
goals and six assists in 15 contests with a +3 for the month. Only two points
back of Michael Ryder in the rookie scoring race, he leads all freshmen with six
game winning goals.


2
4
PHI

Joni Pitkanen




The young Philly blueliner got off to a slow start to the new year partially
caused by a concussion that caused him to miss a pair of games in the middle of
the month. Still, he was able to put up a pair of goals and a pair of helpers on
his way to a month that saw him come out at +7 on the plus/minus scale.


3

5

BOS
Patrice
Bergeron

The
B’s second entry in the top ten has been passed by the aforementioned
Andrew Raycroft. Bergeron tallied six goals, one of which was a game
winner and two assists in January cementing his place on Boston’s second
line and second powerplay unit. Not bad for a second round pick who was
supposed to spend this year in junior.
8
6
CAR
Eric
Staal

Playing
for the goal-starved Hurricanes, Staal has managed to put up two goals and
four assists with a -3 rating for the month of January. While he goes up
in this month’s installment, another performance like the last 30 days
could see him fall back down again.
9
7
PIT
Ryan
Malone

Another
rookie, who like Eric Staal, plays for a team that is having a hard time
of it in the standings, Malone has managed to cobble together five goals
and three assists and a -5 rating throughout the month of January. Not bad
considering the lineup that Pittsburgh dresses.
8

CAL
Nikolai
Zherdev
January
marks the first month in the top ten for Columbus’ fine rookie winger.
Since skipping out on his Russian hockey club to try his hand at the NHL,
the winger has put up six goals and eight assists, half of each coming in
January. One gets the feeling that the pace will pick up shortly.

4
9

CAL
Matt
Lombardi

This
month’s biggest drop, Lombardi has but four goals to his name for
January to go with a -3 rating. Still having trouble with his defensive
commitments in Brian Sutter’s system,he is being played farther down in
the lineup than his offensive talent would suggest until he works out the
kinks in his defensive game.
10

CAL
Dan
Hamhuis

This
month’s other new entry, Hamhuis leads all rookie defensemen in icetime.
However with a healthy scratch earlier in the month and only two assists
to show for January, his stay in the top ten might be a short one unless
he does something to pick up the pace.

Others
Receiving Votes (position in the previous top ten in parenthesis):
Marc-Andre
Fleury (4), Nikos Dimitrakos, Raffi Torres, Joffery Lupul, Jason King, Brent
McLean, Garnet Exelby, Antoine Vermette, Nathan Horton, Mark Rycroft.