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.
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Luke Hughes has been better than advertised in his rookie year

While Jack Hughes didn’t warrant much, if any, consideration for the Calder, you can’t say the same for Luke Hughes. Jack finished the 2019-20 season with just 21 points and seven goals in 61 contests despite showing immense potential that season. As for Luke, he’s operating at more than a half-point per game, which is stellar for a blueliner. 

With 35 points and eight goals in 69 contests, the only real blemish on Luke’s stat line is his minus-19 rating, but that’s half of what we have seen from Bedard, who is currently at minus-38. Hughes is just 20 years old, and he’s already logging top-four minutes. Plus, he’s getting a stick on the puck almost every time an opponent challenges him. 

Unlike Faber, however, Luke Hughes isn’t someone who will log shorthanded minutes on special teams, but he has been reliable on the power play this season. Across nearly 235 minutes of ice time on the man advantage, Hughes has a 14.5 on-ice shooting percentage, helping the Devils score 34 times on the power play. He has also logged 18 points and four goals at 5-on-4. 

Hughes would need an epic run to pass Faber and supplant Bedard, however. But he had a four-game points streak earlier this season that saw him log six points and three goals in that span. If he has one more similar streak, there is a good chance Hughes closes the gap on Faber, Bedard, and potentially Ersson.