We all know that Steven Stamkos is all but a lock for the Calder Trophy, and his most likely competitors will be Drew Doughty and Kyle Turris.
But whatever happened to all those prospects that didn’t make the NHL in their draft year? A few of them make a good case for the Calder as well. Here’s a few:
T.J. Oshie: The St. Louis Blues first pick in 2005 (24th overall), Oshie has garnered a lot of attention since signing an entry-level contract not too long ago. The University of North Dakota star had a career season of 52 points with the Fighting Souix, sandwiched by two 45 point seasons. In his draft year, Red Line listed his style as “comparable to John Madden.” I’m not sure how accurate that is, having never seen Oshie play, but he’s assured to be a strong NHL player.
Kyle Okposo: There’s an assured bias coming from me when I talk about this NYI rookie, but I can back it up. Okposo has all the talent to be a high-end scorer in the NHL, although he might not become a Jarome Iginla, as many compare the Flames star and the young Isle. However, if 5 points in his first 9 NHL games doesn’t convince you of a good NHL future, I don’t know what will.
Shawn Matthias: The Panthers prospect (the 47th overall pick of the Detroit Red Wings) has a strong chance of making the NHL for 08-09. Although he went pointless in 3 of his first 4 NHL games, he did score 2 goals in the fourth. He looks to be a second-line center who can put up points.
Derick Brassard: In the wake of Steven Stamkos’ drafting and signing, Brassard has lost the hype of being the most exciting center to be entering the NHL. However, there’s no doubt that Brassard has enough offensive talent to be a top-line center in the NHL. His only trouble so far has been injuries, which seem to pop up during his most critical seasons. However, he’s shown that he can produce at every level.
Sorry if that looks like I copied stuff from other sites, but I definitely didn’t. I put stuff in my own words, I add my own thoughts, etc., etc. I would write about more but then it would take me a week or so. Enjoy, comment, and critique!