The Detroit Red Wings will very likely have representation in this year’s group of Calder finalists. Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider and Alex Nedeljkovic are all performing at high levels right now, and all three are considered rookies this season.
Could the Red Wings actually end up with three finalists in Calder voting?
Most betting sites give Raymond the best odds to win the Calder this season, and for good reason. Raymond currently leads all rookies in scoring, with eight goals and 12 assists 21 games into the season. He’s been an invaluable asset to the top line, more than keeping up with line mates Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi.
Raymond has just not hit a wall yet and he continues to get better. Offensively, he’s perhaps the best playmaker on the team, slinging the puck right past the slot or slipping by defenders to create a scoring opportunity. He’s also a great shooter, dangerous anywhere near the net.
If Raymond keeps this up, he won’t just be a finalist, he’ll win the trophy.
Right up there with Raymond in the betting odds is Seider. He’s currently tied for third in rookie scoring, with two goals and 11 assists 21 games into the season.
What’s been more exciting than the scoring is the way he’s playing defense at such a young age. It’s hard to integrate into such a talented league as a defenseman, but Seider has done it seamlessly. He’s laying hits and moving the puck well. He’s already the first option for power play quarterback, further proving just how much this team already trusts him. He’s a bit less flashy than a Raymond or Trevor Zegras, but Seider really might be the rookie of the year. Again, he’s showing poise and intelligence beyond his years – but it might not be enough to overcome the hype surrounding some of the young star forwards.
Nedeljkovic is no stranger to Calder hype – he was a finalist in last season’s voting with the Carolina Hurricanes (he’s still considered a rookie, so he still qualifies for Calder voting this year). Thanks to some stellar performances (especially of late) and a .917 save percentage, there is some discussion about Nedeljkovic’s possible push for the Calder this season.
The biggest problem with Detroit sweeping the finalists vote is the competition. Trevor Zegras is lighting things up over in Anaheim – based on performances so far, it’s hard to imagine that a goaltender on a team like Detroit could overcome a performance like that. Plenty would have to happen for Neddy to sneak into that third spot, even if he has been playing fantastic in the crease for the Wings.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Calder or not, the Red Wings finally have some hope on the horizon with those three young players.