Despite Missing 2 Months of Play, Connor Bedard Has All but Locked Up the Calder Trophy

After a wild five-point night against the Coyotes, Bedard's case for winning the Calder has only gotten stronger.
Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks
Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

If you had told me two months ago that Bedard would be not only leading the Calder Trophy race but also running away with the award altogether, I would have laughed in your face. However, he seems to be doing just that.

After a five-point performance against the Arizona Coyotes, Bedard now has 51 points in 52 games this season. He also has eight points over his last two games and is the driving force behind the offense getting hot as of late.

For reference, the next closest rookie to Bedard in points is Brock Faber with 38. Oh, and Faber has also played 14 more games than Bedard as well.

The 0.98 points per game pace Bedard is on right now is very rare as a rookie. If he had played all 82 games, who knows how many total points he could have gotten.

Let me be clear. Players like Faber, Kochetkov, and Hughes have all had good rookie years. Faber has been sharp from the point and leads rookies in assists. Kochetkov has the best goals-against-average amongst rookies with a 2.35 GAA and the second-highest save percentage with 9.11. He is also second in wins and tied for first in shutouts as well. Luke Hughes is also only 6 points behind Faber and third in assists behind both Faber and Bedard.

These guys have been good, but they just haven't been at the level of Bedard. Especially given his age and his injury from a couple of months ago.

Rookies aren't supposed to be perfect right away. They're supposed to show flashes of brilliance and support why their team selected them as early as they did.

Bedard has done that and more. It hasn't resulted in wins yet, but the impact he provides while on the ice is irrefutable. The Blackhawks were borderline unwatchable while he was out with the jaw injury. Now, you can argue they are must-see TV while he's on the ice. He is more than deserving of becoming the NHL's rookie of the year.