It is tough to project an 18 or 19 year old player in his first NHL season, but mark my words, the 2015 Calder Trophy winner will be Jonathan Drouin.
Sure, the top 4 or 5 picks from this season’s draft might have something to say about it, but the 3rd overall pick from last summer’s draft is a year older, wiser and stronger, and should be the head of the rookie class of 2013-14.
Other contenders might be Griffin Reinhart of the Islanders and his brother Sam of the Sabres, who could both make impacts this season. Griffin was drafted in 2012 and Sam in 2014. Curtis Lazar of the Senators will be among the top rookies if he is given the appropriate role on the Senators as well.
The field will most likely be staring up at Drouin, however, because he was skilled enough to play in the NHL last season but the Lightning were patient with him.
Since the 2004-05 lockout, four of the 9 Calder Trophy winners won in the season following their draft year (Patrick Kane, Jeff Skinner, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon), while 3 waited a year (Alex Ovechkin, Tyler Myers and Jonathan Huberdeau), and 2 (Evgeni Malkin and Steve Mason) won the rookie of the year two seasons after he was selected.
With an opening on the top line alongside Steven Stamkos, and with the overall talent and skill of Drouin, he is a shoo-in to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.