Known as ‘The Scourge Of Colorado’, Elias Pettersson is setting the league alight with his dazzling play. The Vancouver Canucks’ Swedish rookie has 17 points from 11 games and is easily the early favourite for the Calder Trophy despite already missing a few games due to injury.
To put Petterson’s achievement into perspective, he’s only the 5th NHL player ever to score 10 goals in his first 10 games. But how does this compare to previous Calder Trophy winners? Since the lockout there have been 10 offensive players who’ve lifted that silverware.
At time of writing, Elias has played 11 games, so we’ll set that as the benchmark. We’re also looking at the first 11 games of each player’s rookie season.
Through 11 games, Pettersson has outperformed each of the last 10 Calder Trophy winning forwards. What would this look like if the Pettersson’s points-per-game performance stayed consistent for the rest of the season? Jonathan Huberdeau won his Calder in the lockout-shortened season, so his tally has been adjusted to match his points-per-game for the full season (not exactly scientific – I know).
117 points in a rookie season would be amazing, but it’s also highly unlikely for two reasons; the Canucks only have two games left against the Avalanche this season. Secondly it’s about the usual time that Vancouver fall apart and despite the Pacific Division looking a lot weaker than last season, other teams are overdue for a bit of a resurgence. Casual Avs baiting aside, Elias has only played two games so far where he’s failed to register a single point. This is the danger of small sample sizes as there will be more zero-point games, and far fewer multiple point games as the season progresses. Traditionally the NHL season is goal-heavy in the first month or two, so I can almost guarantee that Pettersson won’t hit 117 points (insert forfeit here).
The rookie race is likely far but over, but Pettersson is miles ahead of his nearest challengers Colin White, Oskar Lindblom and Brett Howden. We should probably just go ahead and stick a fork in this race as the dude is outrageously good.
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