Raycroft takes home top rookie honors

By Bill Roark





Raycroft Takes Home Top Rookie Honors


Recently at the 2004 NHL awards ceremony, stand out rookie
goaltender Andrew Raycroft was named the 2004 Calder Trophy winner. Being the league’s most outstanding rookie
is an amazing accomplishment, but what is more amazing is that in a year filled
with explosive rookie talent, Raycroft won with 93 of 105 total first place
votes. He beat out runners up Michael Ryder (25 goals, 38 assists, 63 points)
and Trent Hunter (25 goals, 26 assists, 51 points) by a healthy margin.

 

Raycroft’s superb year started in camp where he quickly
showed that he was ready to challenge for the starting job, in spite of the
fact that veteran net minder Felix Potvin had been brought in to take the
reins. With every start Raycroft
appeared to grow more and more confident, until he hit his stride during the
stretch and helped carry the Bruins into the playoffs. Overall, Raycroft played in 57 games in the
regular season with a record of 29-18-9, a miniscule 2.05 goals against
average, and a lofty .926 save percentage.

 

Raycroft, 24, is the first Bruin to win the Calder since
Sergei Samsonov won the coveted trophy in 1998 and the last goaltender to win
the Calder was in 2001 when Evgeni Nabokov took home top honors. Other recent goaltenders who have won the
Calder Trophy include Martin Broduer in 1996, and Ed Belfour in 1991. If the company he keeps is any indication of
where he’s going to be in the future, Raycroft is certainly on the right track
as both Broduer and Belfour have gone on to have potential Hall of Fame
careers, while Nabokov currently back stops an outstanding San Jose Sharks
team.

 

This exceptional honor comes only days after being named to
the 2004 NHL All Rookie Team. Raycroft,
in net, is also joined on the 2004 NHL All Rookie Team, by defenseman
John-Michael Liles (Colorado Avalanche), defenseman Joni Pitkanen (Philadelphia
Flyers), and forwards Trent Hunter (New York Islanders), Michael Ryder
(Montreal Canadiens), and Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh Penguins).

 

 

A look at recent Calder winning goaltenders

 

Name Team Record GAA Save
%

Raycroft (2004)

Boston

29-18-9

2.05

.926

Nabokov (2001)

San Jose

37-24-5

2.29

.918

Broduer (1996)

New Jersey

27-11-8

2.40

.915

Belfour (1991)

Chicago

43-19-7

2.47

.910