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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Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Pyotr Kochetkov has put up borderline Vezina numbers lately

If there is anyone on this list who has an outstanding chance to beat Connor Bedard for the Calder Trophy, Pyotr Kochetkov is that player. He has become the clear-cut No. 1 goaltender for a talented Carolina Hurricanes team that is still within striking distance of snagging the Presidents’ Trophy and the top overall seed for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Carolina could, and probably should have, looked to trade for a goaltender as insurance at the deadline, especially given how turbulent the entire rotation has been this season. But here is Kochetkov, barely eligible for Calder consideration after playing in 24 games last year and logging a 0.909 save percentage, a 2.44 GAA, four shutouts, and a 0.565 quality starts percentage. 

Excellent numbers for such a young goaltender, and despite struggling earlier this season, Kochetkov has elevated his game to match this talented Hurricanes team. He has just 19 wins in 34 starts and 36 appearances, but his 0.913 save percentage, 2.36 GAA, three shutouts, and 0.588 quality starts percentage will give him outstanding consideration. 

Kochetkov may not have been completely consistent this season, but it shouldn’t matter - he’s not just one of the best Calder-eligible players this season; he’s one of the league’s fastest-rising goaltenders. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)