Calder Trophy Power Rankings: Wild rookies leading race

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

We feature three new rookies in the third edition of theScore's 2021 Calder Trophy Power Rankings, while the runaway favorite for the award remains in the top spot.

5. Oliver Wahlstrom, Islanders

Previous Ranking: Not ranked

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP P ATOI xGF%
26 15 11:44 54.00

Wahlstrom has come on strong with the Islanders lately and rocketed up our rankings as a result. The 11th overall pick in 2018 scored the second-most points among all freshmen since our February installment, with 12 in the last 15 games. He's managed to produce despite logging minimal minutes in a defense-based system under head coach Barry Trotz.

Wahlstrom is also among rookie leaders in several underlying metrics, including points per 60 minutes at five-on-five (1.84), and has even dropped the mitts to further endear himself to Isles faithful.

4. Jason Robertson, Stars

Previous Ranking: Not ranked

Glenn James / National Hockey League / Getty
GP P ATOI xGF%
23 17 14:50 59.94

Robertson is another rookie that firmly established himself as an NHLer this past month with impressive play. The 21-year-old is tied for third on the Stars in scoring and has collected 11 points - 10 at even strength - since the last edition of the rankings. Dallas' youngster drives offense very well and is developing into a promising piece for the future on a roster built around an aging core.

3. Tim Stutzle, Senators

Previous Ranking: 2

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
GP P ATOI xGF%
31 19 15:51 44.04

Stutzle remains in the mix as a finalist for rookie of the year despite registering just one goal this past month. The Senators phenom ranks second in scoring among first-year players this season and routinely shows off his dynamic skill set with dazzling passes or strong drives to the net. He's only going to keep getting better as he gains more experience. An uptick in shooting percentage over the rest of the season - he's converted just 5.2% of shots this month - could drastically enhance his raw totals.

2. Kaapo Kahkonen, Wild

Previous Ranking: Not ranked

Michael Martin / National Hockey League / Getty
GP W SV% GSAA
17 12 .921 6.30

Kahkonen makes his debut on our list after a dominant month between the pipes for the Wild. The 24-year-old recently had a nine-game win streak snapped, and he posted a .947 save percentage over that span. Kahkonen ranks 10th among all netminders in goals saved above average this season and is the main reason Minnesota is in good shape to qualify for the playoffs in the top-heavy West Division.

1. Kirill Kaprizov, Wild

Previous Ranking: 1

Bruce Kluckhohn / National Hockey League / Getty
GP P ATOI xGF%
30 25 18:15 49.17

It's going to take something significant to knock Kaprizov off his perch as the Calder Trophy favorite. He still leads his competition in every category by significant margins. The winger has exceeded expectations in his first year in North America and almost single-handedly transformed into must-watch TV. Kaprizov is one of the league's most dynamic skaters, and his vision and hockey IQ in the offensive zone makes him a truly special player.

There may be criticism at season's end about a 23-year-old with multiple years of pro experience winning the Calder Trophy, but one thing is undeniable: the NHL is a better place with talents like Kaprizov in it.

(Analytics source: Natural Stat Trick)

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Calder Trophy Power Rankings: Wild rookies leading race
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