Calder Trophy – Mathew Barzal
Feels good to get something right for once. Although to be fair, my original New York Islanders nod for the Calder wasn’t Barzal, but Josh Ho-Sang.
I know. I know.
But looking back, who thought that the Islanders would toss Josh Ho-Sang back to the AHL for the season? Actually, as I write it and think out loud, I should have seen it coming. No team in the NHL is better at sinking their own young players quite like the Islanders.
Except for Barzal. After a disappointing two-game showing in 2016-17 Barzal hit the NHL with a mission to prove he belonged. And boy did he make his case.
With 22 goals, 63 assists, three five-point games and another 17 multipoint nights. Yeah, 17. Barzal decimated his class with 20 points over the next player, Arizona Coyotes Clayton Keller with 65 points.
He hasn’t yet won the award, we’ll find out on June 20th if he wins it or not. Though, honestly, there’s no reason to think he won’t win the award.
The New York Islanders will have at least one representative at the podium this season. That’s two years in a row with Hamonic’s Foundation Award. It’s hard to see that as a sign of this to come. But one can hope, right?