What history says about Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider odds to win Calder Trophy

Detroit Free Press

When the Detroit Red Wings opened the season with two hyped rookies — Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider — on the roster, they knew the two were good. But good enough for one to win the Calder Trophy (awarded annually to the league’s top rookie)?

“He always looked like a good player, then I saw him on the ice in training camp,” Wings captain Dylan Larkin told the Freep’s Helene St. James, talking about Raymond just before the season opener. “He’s a smart player. I think he plays on a different level, and it just depends for him if he can keep it going.”

Keep it going, he has. Raymond, 19, and Seider, 20, sit in first and third place, respectively, in rookie points at the halfway point of the season, with both playing in all 41 of the Wings’ games, through Friday’s victory over the Dallas Stars. Raymond has 33 points, including 11 goals, which is second among rookies, while Seider has 26 points, a total that’s boosted by his rookie-leading 23 assists. (Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras — you may know him from his “lacrosse assist” earlier this season — is second, with 29 points in 37 games.) Raymond is second in assists, as well. Seider also leads all rookies in ice time; his average of 22:24 per game is a full 94 seconds better than the No. 2 qualified rookie, Arizona defenseman Dysin Mayo.

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Just four Wings have won the Calder, and none since goalie Roger Crozier did it in 1964-65. (The others: Center Jim McFadden in 1947-48 — ahead of teammate and third-place finisher Red Kelly — goalie Terry Sawchuk in 1950-51 and goalie Glenn Hall in 1955-56.) No Wing has even finished as a finalist since goalie Jimmy Howard in 2009-10. (Henrik Zetterberg was the last Wing to finish as Calder runner-up, in 2002-03.)

Still, both Raymond and Seider have solid Calder arguments with half a season to play. But how often do hot starts — even 41-game starts — lead to the Calder? We took a look at the past few forwards and defensemen to win the award to see whether they benefitted from a smokin’ start or a fiery finish.


Surprisingly, just two of the past five forwards to win the Calder — Auston Matthews (No. 1 in 2016) and Elias Pettersson (No. 5 in 2017) — have been top-five picks. The other three are comprised of a mid-first-rounder, a fifth-rounder and an undrafted player.

*2020-21 Kiril Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild: The 5-foot-10 Russian had 10 goals and 15 assists, giving him an eight-point lead on the league’s second-leading rookie, Dallas’ Jason Robertson. In the second half, Kaprizov cooled off, with six goals and 13 assists. Robertson actually led rookies in goals over the second half, with nine, but Kaprizov, who went in the fifth round in 2015 (No. 135 overall) overwhelmingly won the Calder vote, with 99 first-place votes and one second-place vote.

2018-19 Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks: After dominating the Swedish Hockey League at 19, Pettersson scored 10 goals (along with six assists) for the Canucks in his first 10 games. He cooled off over the Canucks’ next 30 games but still hit the 41-game mark with 19 goals, 20 assists and 14 points more than the second-place forward, Ottawa’s Colin White. Petterson had nine goals and 18 assists in the second half to finish with 66 points, 21 more than the rookie with the second-most points, Brady Tkachuk.

2017-18 Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders: The No. 16 overall pick in 2015 spent two seasons in juniors between his draft and his first full season then hit the halfway mark at No. 2 in points (37, with 24 assists), trailing Vancouver’s Brock Boeser (39, with 22 goals). But a broken back ended Boeser’s season a month early while Barzal kept producing, with eight goals and 39 assists over the Isles’ final 41 games. That second-half production earned him 160 first-place votes out of 164 ballots.

2016-17 Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs: A generational talent and the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, playing in the league’s biggest market? The Arizona-raised center had a headstart on the Calder even before he scored four goals in his debut. The Calder race was still close after 41 games, though, as Matthews’ 21 goals and 16 assists game him one more point than Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine (21 goals, 15 assists). Matthews was slightly overshadowed in the second half by teammate William Nylander, with 33 points, but his total of 69 points earned him 164 first-place votes (out of 167 ballots).

2015-16 Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks: Undrafted out of Russia, Panarin spent five full seasons in the KHL before joining the NHL at age 24. He scored twice in his first three games, then struggled before clicking again in November. He finished the first half with 13 goals and 23 assists, for eight more points than No. 2, Detroit’s Dylan Larkin (who led all rookies with 14 goals in the first 41 games). Panarin turned it on in the second half, however, with 17 goals and 24 assists — 11 more than Calder runner-up Shayne Gostisbehere (Flyers) and five more than third-place finisher Connor McDavid (Oilers). Panarin was No. 1 on 88 of 150 Calder ballots, with Gostisbehere getting 33 and McDavid, who missed two months with a broken clavicle, receiving 25.

*The 2020-21 season was 56 games, so we’re just looking at the first 28 games by his team.


Just five blue-liners have gotten the nod as top rookie over the past 30 seasons, for a couple reasons: First, their scoring statistics are usually overshadowed by forwards (such as the case of Nicklas Lidstrom, who finished second in Calder voting in 1991-92 behind Vancouver’s Pavel Bure). Second, defensemen often struggle to adjust to NHL opponents’ speed and size for their first few years. Still, there have been some standouts:

2019-20 Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche: Ah, did we say D-men get overshadowed? Makar had six points in 10 career playoff games before taking the ice in a regular-season game. He then raced to nine goals and 22 assists, with his 31 points second only to Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson (34), despite missing eight of the Avs’ first 41 games. He missed another five of the Avs’ final 29 games in the pandemic-shortened season, but still added three goals and 16 assists; his 50 points would have led all rookies regardless of position — but Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes had 53, albeit in 11 more games. Still, Makar received 116 of 170 first-place votes. (Hughes finished second, with 53 firsts, and Chicago forward Dominik Kubalik, who had 19 goals in the second half of the season, finished third. Defenseman Adam Fox got the other first-place vote, then won the Norris Trophy the next year. It was a good class of D-men.)

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2014-15 Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers: The No. 1 overall pick in 2014, Ekblad went right to work, with an assist in his NHL debut and five goals and 19 assists in his first 41 games. That was well off the pace of the leader, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg (14 goals, 24 assists). Ekblad picked up a scoring touch in the second half (eight goals, seven assists), but his victory in the Calder voting (71 of 157 first-place votes) — despite finishing 25 points behind the rookie scoring leaders (Ottawa’s Mark Stone and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau) — was a reward in the Ginger Rogers vs. Fred Astaire mold: Everything they did, he did while skating backward.

2009-10 Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres: This rookie class was … not immediately impressive. The rookie leader after 41 games, John Tavares (the No. 1 overall pick in ’09), had just 16 goals and 12 assists, only six points better than Myers’ 22 points (fifth-best after 41 games). By the end of the season, Tavares had just 54 points, Matt Duchene was No. 1 at 55 and Myers, well, he wasn’t far off, at 48 points and a plus-13 rating while skating backward on a playoff-bound Sabres squad. Myers received 94 of 132 first-place votes to easily beat the Wings’ Jimmy Howard. Maybe neck length was voting criteria that year, who knows?

2002-03 Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues: To understand Jackman’s Calder win, you mostly have to throw out the offensive stats. He had two goals and seven assists in his first 41 games, tied for 19th among rookies. He had one goal and nine assists in the final 41 games. Meanwhile, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg had 15 points while playing 38 of the Wings’ first 41, then torched the rookie leaderboard with 29 points in his final 41, seven more than No. 2, Columbus’ Rick Nash. The former No. 1 overall pick, opened with 17 points, then had 22 in the second half. But he played for the gawd-awful Blue Jackets and had a minus-27 rating. And so, Jackman, who averaged nearly 19 minutes of ice time (with a plus-23 rating and 190 penalty minutes) in all 82 games beat out Zetterberg (who missed three too many games?) and Nash (who played in Columbus) with 39 of 62 first-place votes.

1996-97 Bryan Berard, New York Islanders: The 1995 No. 1 overall pick, Berard spent his juniors in Detroit in 1994-96, including an extra year when he and the Senators clashed over money and NHL-readiness (depending on who’s telling the story). Berard arrived on Long Island ready to play, though, as his 25 points over the first 41 games were third among rookies, his plus-five rating was sixth and his 20 assists topped them all. He added another three goals and 20 assists and finished the season with a plus-1 rating despite the Islanders finishing last in their division. His 48 points were second among rookies behind only Jarome Iginla (50), making Berard an easy choice on 43 of the 54 Calder ballots that season.

Wrapping it up

Judging by the past five Calder-winning forwards, leading (or being No. 2) the rookies in points at the break is a good indicator of a trophy at the annual awards gala in Las Vegas. For defensemen, though, it’s more about the body of work for an entire season, especially if you’re producing close to what the forwards are (or your name is Barret Jackman). And as for Raymond and Seider? The Calder race is far from decided with 41 games to go.

Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford.

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