There’s a lot of debate whether or not the New York Islanders Mathew Barzal or Vancouver Canucks rookie Brock Boeser should win the Calder. Let’s take a look.
In the New York Islanders history they’ve had four players win the Calder; Denis Potvin (1974), Bryan Trottier (1976), Mike Bossy (1978), and Bryan Berard (1997). Mathew Barzal has a pretty good shot to be the fifth Islander in their history to win the award.
Through 44 games Mathew Barzal has 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists). It’s been an extremely exciting rookie year for Barzal but he has some steep competition for the Calder. Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks seems like the front-runner for the award, at least to people who are outside the New York landscape.
Brock Boeser has had a pretty successful rookie campaign himself. Through 42 games he has 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists). He has more goals than Barzal does but fewer points and a lesser points-per-game pace.
Boeser slots in on the first line as the Right Wing while we know that Barzal is the second center behind Tavares. Both play different positions so it’s difficult to compare the two.
For Barzal I’d argue that he has more responsibility. Yes, a scoring winger is all well and good but a center has more defensive responsibility and is someone who needs to carry a line. That’s exactly what Barzal has done in his first full season in the league.
His line of Andrew Ladd, himself, and Jordan Eberle is one of if not the best second line in the game.
Besides having more points than Boeser, Barzal also has more average ice time, showing he takes more shifts than Brock does and he also has much better possession numbers.
Mathew Barzal has a 54.8 CF% and a CF% rel of 8.0. As for Boeser, he has a 48.8 CF% and a 1.1 CF% rel. Despite having seven more goals than Barzal, Boeser only has one more game-winning goal.
The definition of the Calder Memorial Trophy is “The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”
Is Brock Boeser a better goal scorer than Mathew Barzal? Probably, but if you’re talking most proficient and the better all-around player it’s Mathew Barzal’s award.