In the fourth edition of theScore's Calder Trophy Power Rankings, two players who have been red-hot recently throw their hats into the ring.
Are we witnessing Jordan Binnington 2.0? The St. Louis Blues netminder appeared in just 32 games last year but still finished second in Calder voting. Merzlikins, 25, could soon find himself in a similar situation.
Since Joonas Korpisalo went down with an injury in December, Merzlikins has started 11 games for the Blue Jackets, winning nine of them while posting three shutouts. He boasts a 9-6-4 record with a .926 save percentage and 2.39 goals-against average.
With Korpisalo set to return from injury, it's unclear what Merzlikin's workload will look like down the stretch. But if he can continue his dominant play and help Columbus reach the playoffs, his name will surely be in the Calder conversation.
Kubalik must have found the switch to turn on the jets because he's been an absolute revelation of late. Originally selected 191st overall in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, he's notched 21 goals in 49 games for the Blackhawks to lead all rookies in that category.
The 24-year-old has buried 10 of those tallies in just nine games in the month of January. It will be interesting to see if he and linemate Jonathan Toews can continue to create magic on the ice in the second half of the season and help Chicago maintain its surge up the standings.
Despite missing the last three weeks of action with a wrist injury, Olofsson's season is still salvageable. He remains second in both goals (16) and points (35) among all rookie skaters and is slated to return to the Sabres' lineup at some point in the next few weeks.
If the 24-year-old retains his scoring touch once he's back to full health, he'll remain in the hunt for the Calder.
With just five goals this season, he hasn't found the back of the net as often as the other skaters on this list. His 29 assists, however, more than make up for that. Hughes' 21:36 of average ice time leads all rookies, and he's a key reason the Canucks are sitting first in the Pacific Division.
When an injury in early December cost Makar eight games, many thought the Calder race had been blown wide open. But he hasn't missed a beat since returning to the lineup, recording nine points in his last 12 games.
Makar leads all rookies with 37 points and ranks second in team scoring for the Avalanche. Hughes has closed the gap recently, but it seems like the Calder Trophy is still Makar's to lose with more than half of the regular season in the books.