Top 3 Calder Candidates As Season Comes To Close

As we continue our look at the top contenders for NHL Awards season, we'll turn our attention to the rookie class, and the Calder Trophy.

The big question here, is who will join Matty Beniers as the other two finalists?

This one has been essentially over since... well, almost since the first puck drop of the 2022-23 season. But there's been a nice battle to join him on the podium when the finalists are named.

Matty Beniers

The Seattle Kraken rookie has been a tremendous two-way player this season, and has been one of the main reasons the team has gone from a 60-point expansion team to a 100-point team this season. 

Beniers showed flashes of his talent during an exciting 10-game trial last year, but this year has done it for a full season, notching 24 goals and 57 points in 79 games for the Kraken in 17 minutes TOI per game. 

His teammate, 13-year veteran Jordan Eberle, has been suitably impressed. “His 200-hundred-foot play is exceptional for such a young guy,” Eberle said. “I know he wants to be a 200-foot player and that’s not things you hear really too much from a 20-year-old centerman, so he’s wise beyond his years.”

The odds on Beniers to take the Calder have been holding steady at about -700 for a while now.

Stuart Skinner

After grabbing the starter's job between the pipes for the Edmonton Oilers this season following an impressive 13-game trial last year, Skinner has posted a 28-14-5 record, with a 2.74 goals against and a .914 save percentage.

And yes, he's now tied with the legendary Grant Fuhr for most wins by an Oilers rookie goalie.  

But that only begins to tell the story. Skinner is 13-1-1 in his last 15 starts, and 9-0-1 in his last ten. He'll try to become the next in a line of surprise rookie goalies to lead his team to a Stanley Cup. 

From Ken Dryden to Patrick Roy to Cam Ward to Matt Murray to Jordan Binnington. It's been done plenty of times. 

Matias Maccelli

The Arizona Coyotes' rookie winger has had a sensational freshman season with 48 points in 63 games. But missing 15 contests with a lower-body injury hurt his chances, as the totals pale alongside Beniers, not to mention his team is an also-ran. But he, too, seems to have a bright future, and has a chance to grab that third nomination as a finalist for the Calder. 

Top Candidates for the Norris Trophy can be found here

Top Veniza Candidates are listed here

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports