Calder Corner: Handicapping the Field-November

By HF Staff

The Calder Corner: Handicapping the Field-November

It’s time again for Hockey’s Future to answer the question “If the Calder Trophy were awarded today, based on what you have seen so far this season, who would your Top 10 Rookie Finalists be?” We’ve recruited several of HF’s finest to take part this month and totalling up their votes, here is this month’s version of ‘Handicapping the Field’:

Last MonthThis MonthTeamPlayer


Dany Heatley: The Thrashers’ 2nd overall pick in 2000 has finally caught up and at least for the moment surpassed his more celebrated counterpart picked 1st overall in 2001. It’s only a matter of time until his physical game catches up to his offensive one and then he’ll be a real handful.
Kristian Huselius: The top sniper among rookies, thanks to a huge tear near the end of October, he’s had some trouble maintaining the pace into November as set-up man Nilson has gone cold. Still oozes talent but changing coaches in mid-season will present a challenge.



Ilya Kovalchuk: Hasn’t been as rapt of a defensive student as Coach Curt Fraser would have liked hence the two healthy scratches on his record. However, has since demonstrated a willingness to put in the extra time to learn. Still right there.
Mark Bell: Hasn’t done much with the puck this month but his reputation as an agitator is spreading throughout the league rapidly. If he can pot a few more goals, he has a chance to break into the top three. If he doesn’t though…..

Jeff Jillson: Quickly establishing himself as THE rookie defenseman to watch this year in the NHL over Rostislav Klesla. Solidified his spot in the lineup during Mike Rathje’s holdout. He won’t be the one to sit now that ‘The Rat’ is back.
Krys Kolanos:Has really come on as a goalscorer in November and comes up aces at the right time as his 4 GWG (easily leads the rookie class) show. Look for Kolanos to continue his ascent. May well end it at the top.

New York Rangers
Dan Blackburn: The highest debut this month, Blackburn has had the unenviable task of playing in front of a team that at times might be better off just icing five forwards. To his credit, he hasn’t let it get to him.

Rostislav Klesla: The Blue Jackets rearguard finally makes an appearance here after an unimpressive first month. Ticketted as smooth and steady, he definitely has some ground to make up on Jillson.

Martin Erat: One of this month’s big losers, Erat has gone very cold in the last four weeks. For now he’s still with the big club, but you have to wonder for how long unless he picks it up.

Erik Cole: The last of the first timers Cole easily leads the rookie class in hits and filled in so well when Shane Willis was out that he’s landed himself a regular job with the club.