Top 4 rookies who can still challenge Connor Bedard for the Calder Trophy

Connor Bedard is the clear-cut favorite to walk away with the Calder Trophy thanks to his sensational productivity, but a few rookies can still catch him.
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Connor Bedard has been one of the most outstanding rookie forwards over the last decade, and no other forward comes close to beating him for the Calder Trophy. Following the Blackhawks recent loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Bedard notched another point, giving him 54 in 55 appearances this season, 21 goals, 33 assists, and a solid 12.6 shooting percentage. 

Bedard may be turnover-prone, with 46 giveaways in those 55 games, but hey, there isn’t a single rookie in NHL history who hasn’t struggled in one avenue or another. Giveaways aside, Bedard still has 43 takeaways, 42 hits, and 21 blocked shots, which are all sound defensive numbers.

Looking at his overall basic statistics, don’t be surprised when Bedard becomes a perennial contender for the Hart, Selke, Ross, Lindsay, and Richard Trophies. For 2023-24, he can just focus on the Calder, and while it looks like he will be a shoo-in for the award, it’s not as clear-cut as you think. 

Connor Bedard is facing competition for the Calder Trophy

While there isn’t a single forward who will challenge to pass Bedard following another unforeseen injury plus a late-season surge from someone like Marco Rossi, there are two defensemen and two goaltenders, especially the final name on this slideshow, who not only can but will challenge Bedard. 

The defensemen listed are remarkable two-way players who will be strong candidates for the Norris Trophy a few years from today. As for the goaltenders, one has helped take their team further than anyone expected, and the other has been playing like a Vezina candidate. 

While Bedard remains the frontrunner for the Calder, he cannot afford to see his play drop from now until April. If that occurs and those listed in the following slides stay consistent, there will be an upset.