A Look at Connor Bedard vs. the Field for this Season’s Calder Trophy

Two man race now?
Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes
Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

First a quick PSA: Connor McDavid did indeed not win the Calder Trophy.  Sure, it was due to his injury and the fact that he only played in 45 games… Still though, no trophy.  No, every great player does not have a Calder Memorial Trophy sitting on their mantle.  Only one can win it after all.  Will Connor Bedard join the likes of Hawks’ alumni (Panarin in 2016, Kane in 2008, Belfour in 1991, Larmer in 1983, Esposito in 1970, and Hay in 1960) to claim the award?  Let’s take a statistical look at the contenders:

Connor Bedard: 43pts (17g, 26a) in 49 games

Connor Bedard
Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Marco Rossi: 33pts (17g, 16a) in 62 games

Marco Rossi
San Jose Sharks v Minnesota Wild / Nick Wosika/GettyImages

Brock Faber: 34pts (4g, 30a) in 62 games 

Brock Faber
Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Luke Hughes: 32pts (8g, 24a) in 62 games

Luke Hughes
New Jersey Devils v San Jose Sharks / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Adam Fantilli: 27pts (12g, 15a) in 49 games

Adam Fantilli
Columbus Blue Jackets v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

While those are the standouts thus far, the league has one of the best rookie classes of all time as it stands.  Dmitri Voronkov, Ridley Greig, Pavel Mintyukov, Leo Carlsson, Tyson Foerster, Connor Zary, Luke Evangelista, and Logan Cooley make up one of the best overall contingents of 1st year players in quite some time.  There are even some rookie net minders taking on bigger roles and playing well such as: Joel Hofer, Samuel Ersson, Pyotr Kochetkov, and recently Justus Annunen. The Russian Kochetkov in particular looks like an outstanding future #1 goaltender as he continues his strong play with Carolina.  

When analyzing the numbers however, it seems to be shaping up as a two man race for the award between Connor Bedard and Brock Faber.  Faber, acquired in a trade from Los Angeles in the Kevin Fiala deal, has been better than expected for the Wild.  As a defenseman, Faber rarely leaves the ice and is constantly logging ice time in the mid 20s for a Wild team trying to stay above .500 this season.

Bedard on the other hand, back from injury, has 10 points (2g, 8a) in his last 10 games.  If that type of pace continues, then Bedard should run away with the award.  The differences come into play when considering their positions played though and complicate any run away conversation in terms of reference to Connor Bedard unanimously winning the Calder Trophy. 

As the season enters its final stretch of 20 games this rookie class will look to finish strong and could have a dozen players finish at a .50 ppg clip (and play at least a 1/2 a season).  Overall, it’s an exciting time to be an NHL fan with the recent influx of outstanding young talent entering the league of late.  Still, it would be fitting if Connor Bedard becomes the 7th Blackhawk to win the award in a year in which a #7 was raised to the rafters. Will it play out that way? So far so good.