Dylan Larkin’s Calder Trophy Hope Rises With McDavid Injury


In hockey, injuries happen. As Red Wings fans, we know this all too well, just take a look back at Detroit’s last couple of seasons. However, it was an injury to the up-and-coming NHL rookie Connor McDavid that could easily help the Red Wings’ own Dylan Larkin make a push for the Calder Trophy this season. It was this play last night that has the young Edmonton Oilers player out for what Oilers president and general manager Peter Chiarelli said would be “a long time”.

With this terrible news for McDavid, most Red Wings fans first thoughts should be, this helps out Dylan Larkin in the long run of things. Let’s say that this injury hurts McDaivd’s chances for the Calder Trophy. So understand that this whole post is based on the assumption that the injury he sustained is going to cause him to miss enough time to basically fall out of the running for the Calder. Let’s just make sure that this is clear.

Who else is there in Larkin’s way?

Let’s not include every single rookie that could possibly challenge Larkin for the Calder. Instead let’s look at the top five rookies whose name is not Connor McDavid. There is The Arizona Coyotes’ Max Domi, Chicago Blackhawks’ Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers’ Oscar Lindberg and the Red Wings Dylan Larkin. So let’s look at these three other players because it seems that they will continue their success throughout the season while other rookies might not. So work with me here.

Let’s group these rookie together with Larkin. Dylan Larkin is currently in the back of the pack with nine points. The leaders are Domi and Panarin with 11 points while Lindberg and Larkin are tied with nine. Domi is honestly a huge surprise because many thought he would come up full-time this season, but not produce the way he has. If he can continue his offensive production, it wouldn’t be hard to see him run away with the Calder race.

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However in his way is a rookie who plays on a team that is a bit better than Domi’s Coyotes. That rookie is Artemi Panarin. I had no clue who this kid was before the season started, but now he is a consistent starter on my fantasy hockey team every night that he hits the ice.

The advantage that Panarin has over Domi, Larkin, and even Lindberg is that he plays on a line with Patrick Kane and Viktor Tikhonov. Not to mention he also gets to play on lines with Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and every other weapon the Chicago Blackhawks have. The kid will have every chance in the world to net points left and right throughout the season if he can stay healthy through it.

What about Oscar Lindberg? The New York Rangers young center is sitting atop the leader board when it comes to goals among rookies with six. Oscar’s six goals along with three assists has him in fourth of all rookie points. Yet one important stat that sometimes gets over looked is where Lindberg challenges Larkin heavily is in plus/minus. Larkin leads all rookies in plus/minus with a nice positive ten, Lindberg sits in second with +8. Like Paranin, Lindberg gets help from playing on a really good Rangers team. The points and chances for points will come for the rookie.

What about Jack Eichel?

Honestly, I wish I knew. Eichel seemed to be the poster boy to challenge McDavid this season for the Calder, but instead hasn’t had much happen for him in Buffalo. He only has 4 point on the season. Eichel is a -7 on the season, but honestly that is more due to his team not being great. Jack has also yet to record an assist this season.

It might be a mixture of Eichel getting used to the NHL and him just not playing on a good team. He won’t see the chances that Pararin, Lindberg and Larkin will see. He isn’t seeming to make them on his own like the other rookies including McDavid have been making for themselves.

Don’t count Eichel out yet, hockey is a very tricky sport and things can change in an instant. Yet, if the his play continues this way it is not looking good for Eichel.

Next: Go Beyond The Red Wings' Goals Vs Tampa Bay


The last goaltender to win a Calder Trophy was Steve Mason in the 2008-09 season. This year, I don’t think there is anyone that will really stick out and be the dark horse for the Calder. Mike Condon of the Montreal Canadiens leads in all the goal tending categories, but he also plays behind Carey Price and what are the chances that he gets the time to play enough to consistently rack up stats? It is possible, but the chance of Condon out shinning any of the other rookies seems a bit crazy. Pay attention to the goalies, but also don’t put any money on any of them.