The Calder race is heating up, and the Detroit Red Wings have a couple of rookies that are close to the finish line: Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the stats of these two players – plus, Trevor Zegras, who is also a major competitor in the race.
Zegras is known for his stunning goals that tend to circulate social media for weeks, but he also has the stats to back up the flashy play.
The young forward has 35 points (13 goals and 22 assists) in 45 games, which is tied for the second most among rookies. Zegras’ goals above replacement is 6.8, (5.2 expected) while his wins above replacement is 1.2 (0.9 expected). In possession metrics, Zegras has a 12.3 percent Corsi-for and a 10.9 Fenwick-for.
Zegras has been an extremely impressive forward this season. While he mainly gets the spotlight for his highlight reel goals, he’s a talented forward that can drive offense and rack up assists. Zegras offers stiff competition for the Calder.
Raymond leads all rookies in points this season. He has 13 goals and 26 assists through just 51 games. He’s collected the points on Detroit’s top line, alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin. Currently, Raymond averages 18:08 minutes of ice time per game.
Raymond’s Corsi-for relative percentage is 10.9, and his Fenwick-for relative percentage is 9.2. His GAR is sitting at 4.9 (expected is 4.2) and his WAR is 0.9 (0.7 expected).
Considering the team he’s on and his age, Raymond has been nothing short of stellar this season for Detroit, and the numbers back it up. He’ll almost certainly make the cut for a finalist this year, and he could very well make a push for the trophy itself.
Seider’s 30 assists lead all rookies so far, and he also has five goals on the season. His 35 points are tied with Zegras for second among the rookies.
The big German defenseman has the highest GAR and WAR of the three Calder hopefuls – 9.4 (7.1 expected) and 1.6 (1.3 expected), respectively. Surprisingly, his possession metrics aren’t quite as good: just a 5.8 Corsi-for relative and 5.8 Fenwick. Mind you, all of these statistics have been achieved while paired with Danny DeKeyser, perhaps the worst defenseman on the current roster.
A good chunk of what Seider does well is hard to quantify through numbers. The savvy hits, the impressive plays to keep the puck in the offensive zone, etc.
So what does all that mean?
Considering his position, who he has played with and what the statistics say, Seider should be the favorite for the Calder Trophy. There is plenty of time for Mo to hit a wall or regress, but based on current trends, that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.
However, Detroit fans can’t discount Zegras, and fans around the league can’t discount Raymond. Red Wings fans shouldn’t slander Zegras just because the NHL over-advertises him, and the NHL and major publications can’t ignore Raymond just because he’s on the same team as Seider.
There is still plenty of season left for things to shift around, but as it stands, Seider, Zegras and Raymond are just a tier above everyone else. Let’s see if they can keep it up in the latter half of the season.