(Click to enlarge)

Since the last lockout, the NHL’s Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year has only gone to a non-forward twice (defenseman Tyler Myers, 2009-10, Steve Mason the year before). And really, it’s tough to pick a d-man because of the glamour-factor. “Oh, he was reliable and super-young, neat-o.”

Well, the Wild have launched a campaign for one of their own to break that mold,  19-year-old d-man Jonas Brodin (because apparently they’d like to owe him more when his entry level deal is up?). One of our best measures of NHL value these days is time-on-ice, especially for defenseman. The Wild made their case in the infographic above (“he’s super young and plays a ton”). Is Jonathan Huberdeau’s 28 points in 46 games enough to top him?

Comments (20)

  1. Didn’t Steve Mason win the Calder as a non-forward?

    • Yes, yes he did. Added, thanks.

      • And clearly, the last two non-forward Calder winners (as well as Andrew Raycroft, the last winner before the lockout who also wasn’t a forward) went on to stellar, magnificient careers after winning the trophy.

        Minnesota should be running a campaign for Huberdeau.

  2. I’d put Dalton Prout (CBJ) up against this guy and see where things shake out.Of course as a CBJ fan, biased.

    • You probably wouldn’t be pleased with how that turns out. Brodin is 3 years younger than Prout, plays the hardest minutes in Minnesota(even harder than Suter) while having a positive Corsi Rel. Plays 5 more minutes a night, more PK, PP and ES time. Even has more points, and thats the only thing holding him back from running away with the award.

      Be hard pressed to find a rookie making a bigger contribution and more valuable than Brodin.

  3. Mason over Doughty. Still inexplicable.

    • If I recall correctly the runner ups didn’t even include Doughty. They were Versteeg and Bobby Ryan (who I probably would have given it too)

  4. It does look like a wide open Calder race… I mean, there is no one running away with this. Six forwards have between 25 and 28 points, there’s no standout Dman… The only players who don’t have negatives against them don’t have really strong positives either. I’d say there’s as many as 11 legitimate candidates.

    Huberdeau – 28pts, nearly 17min per game, but -16.
    Conarcher – 28pts, 14min per game, but he’s played with offensive stars, and was traded for a reason…
    Yakupov – 26pts, 14min per game, but -9
    Saad – 26pts, +16, 16min per game… but he plays for Chicago.
    Gallagher – 25pts, +6, 14min per game, works his ass off… as a Habs fan, hard to see anything he does badly, but maybe doesn’t do anything quite well enough to win? -shrug-
    Galchenyuk – 25pts, +11, but only plays ~12min per game.

    Schultz – 23pts, 21min per game, but -19
    Wiercioch – 19pts, +8, but only 15min per game
    Muzzin – +15, moderate ice time (~18min), but low on points (16)
    Hamilton – similar to Muzzin (~18min, 16pts), but worse +/- (+4)
    Brodin – as mentioned, 23min per game, +6 is not bad, but only 11pts.

    Only Markstrom (21) and Allen (15) have played enough games to be worth even mentioning, neither should get votes though. It’s tough to win an award when you play 1/3rd of the games.

    • I really think Brodin is the open and shut winner.

      • I should clarify. I think he deserves that. I think the winner will be a forward (one of Hubadoo, Saad, or Gallagher and I don’t even think Brodin will be one of the “nominated”)

  5. Nothing mentioned about him playing with Suter? Ask the half dozen guys Lidstrom has played with what a difference that can make.

    • The general story out of Minnesota has been that Brodin helps Suter play better.

      If you remember, Suter was pretty bad the first few games of the season before he got paired with Brodin, then his form skyrocketed and he started playing like a Norris candidate.

      • But just because Brodin helps Suter doesn’t mean Suter can’t help Brodin as well. (Imagine the 07 Ducks for a moment. Niedermayer and Pronger typically played apart, right? But occasionally they’d take the ice together, and obviously it was then that they both looked the best.) It’s about value over replacement, and Suter and Brodin might be the two best D on that team. (Gilbert might sneak in at 2nd.)

        • Going by their splits from when they play together and apart, it appears Brodin is actually carrying Suter. As in Suter does better when with Brodin is with him, and Brodin does better without Suter.

          • That’s in a really small sample size though, and I’d guess that a lot of that came near the beginning of the year, when–presumably–Suter was still playing tough minutes but Brodin was being eased into the lineup.

  6. He averaged high TOI due to the fact that Minnesota was thin at the blue line. Dougie Hamilton has looked just as strong but played on a team with a stacked blue line, so averaged less time on ice.

  7. “Leads NHL rookie defensemen in take aways”, “3rd-ranked NHL rookie defenseman in blocked shots”. What this says to me is that the Wild don’t have the puck very often when Brodin’s on the ice.

  8. I guess the shorter season makes the races for trophies tighter. I like Kevin Smith arguments for many Calder candidates, and you can make a similar list for the Norris, even the Hart because of Crosby’s injury. I believe in a 82-game season you would see who remains consistent to separate from the pack.

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