Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top 10 Calder Trophy Candidates – Fearless Predictions

Edmonton Oilers' Taylor Hall (L) and Jordan Eberle (R) steal the puck from Calgary Flames' Jay Bouwmeester during the first period of their NHL pre-season hockey game in Edmonton October 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

From October 12th, this is my article highlighting Calder Memorial Trophy candidates for the 2010-11 season. It is a fantastic crop of rookies and should prove to be an interesting race. There always seems to be a couple players emerge out of left field. This year is no different with the likes of Matt Taormina and Mark Letestu emerging already, amongst others. Cam Fowler didn't even make the list and I am extremely high on him and he has certainly been impressive already this season. I had him ranked 3rd in my 2010 Draft Rankings and 12th overall in my Top 100 Prospect Rankings which attests to how high I am on him. I simply didn’t see him winning the Calder this year.

With my Top 100 NHL Prospect Rankings fresh off the press, I still wanted to discuss this year’s top rookie class. Though a prospect had to be Calder Trophy eligible to meet the Top 100 criteria, the list was focused on long term potential with NHL readiness taken into account.

This article then features prospects that are obviously ready for the Big League and should garner some consideration for rookie-of-the-year, should things fall in place for them this season.

...I have decided to make my Top 10 Calder Trophy Candidates article in a slightly different direction. The following prospects then are strong candidates in their own right but I will throw a spin in to the mix in which I predict things that will have to go right (or wrong) for them to be a true contender.

Excerpt scenario:
4. Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers

Prospect Ranking: 1

Calder Winning Scenario: The one thing that just might be standing in the way of the #1 rated NHL prospect winning rookie of the year is an injury. Hall plays with an obvious passion and determination. He is susceptible to being hit and hit hard, but to this point has been able to get right back and have an impact even in the same game. Until now though he has not faced guys who are so big, so fast and hit so hard. My fearless prediction is that Hall gets knocked out at some point for about 15 games, which ultimately cost him the Calder.
Read on:

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