As the year began, you would have predicted that Jakob Silfverberg would be the leading candidate from the Ottawa Senators to be in the Calder Trophy conversation. Silvferberg got off to a slow start, and has some work to do to get into that race over the next month. Ditto Mika Zibanejad, who has also stepped his game up and has been gaining more confidence.
However, another Senators rookie has vaulted into the discussion when it comes to the league’s top freshmen. Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch has steadily improved and has 4 goals and 4 assists in his last 8 games. He finds himself entering tonight’s game against the Bruins in 2nd place among rookie defensemen in scoring (behind Justin Schultz of the Oilers) and 7th overall among first year players.
His productin has exceeded that of more highly touted rookies such as Dougie Hamilton, Jaden Schwartz and Charlie Coyle and is on par with the performance of Schultz as well as a number of forwards who have been in consideration.
If Wiercioch can continue to produce at around the point per game mark for the remaining 18 games, then he will definitely have to be in the conversation when it comes time for voting. That would put him at or around the 30 point mark for a defenseman, and the way his game has progressed offensively especially on the power play, that is not beyond the realm of possibility.