NHL Trophy Talk is Heating Up As the Season Progresses But One Thing is For Sure, Patrik Laine’s Campaign For the Calder Trophy is Getting Stronger Than Ever.
If you haven’t heard of Patrik Laine yet you must have missed a lot of hockey games, and happened to tune out every time his name has come up on any sports network. Laine is the 2016 2nd overall draft pick who joined the Winnipeg Jets this season.
While the Jets aren’t leading the standings, they aren’t too far off from the possibility of a wildcard spot (62 points puts them six points away from second wildcard, LA Kings) and they have found a star in young rookie Laine.
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Laine, though battling it out against the likes of Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews, is creating a very strong campaign for the Calder Trophy that is only picking up more momentum.
Patrik Laine: Perfect Calder Trophy Candidate
Laine is a prominent leader on the NHL rookie board. The Jets rookie currently leads all rookies with 56 points and is tied for first in goals with Matthews with 31 goals.
Laine leads the NHL this season with three total hat tricks, thus far, tied for second in the NHL in total goals and fourth in the NHL for goals created per game (.42).
He is the first NHL-er to notch three hat tricks before his 19th birthday and was the NHL’s Rookie of the Month in February.
On Winnipeg, Laine is second in points to Mark Scheifele and is a prominent producer on the team. The rookie has been a staple in the Jets’ production and has seamlessly meshed into the Jets’ system.
The 18-year-old has quickly earned the reputation as one of the NHL’s best young players. He has the natural ability to grab important goals and make successful plays. He has already notched incredible milestones, despite his young age. He has produced an incredible amount of points thus far, played in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game and been in many NHL top 10s, statistically.
Laine missed some games due to a concussion injury he sustained and hasn’t let that hold him back. He is a smart player on the ice and his teammates have had no problem relying on him to help them get the job done.
He has a natural scoring ability and his combination of skills makes him a serious on-ice threat. Moving the puck, setting up plays and getting to the net comes naturally for Laine and it is easy to see the second you see him on the ice.
Many are calling Laine the ‘next Ovechkin’ because of his strong caliber of play. Though, based on his path so far, Laine might be able to take that same caliber to a new level.
The rookie doesn’t let anything get in the way of his play. Which he excels at with nothing more that raw natural power and passion. Laine hasn’t acknowledged the push many have had to begin a rivalry between him and fellow rookie Matthews. He keeps a classy exterior and focuses on nothing other than his play.
Merging Into the Calder
Let’s face it- the only real competition Laine has for the Calder Trophy is Matthews.
Matthews and Laine both spill over with raw talent and skill. The rookie pool for the 2016-17 season is strong and the talents make picking just one winner difficult.