Who Deserves the Calder Trophy? A Comparison of Defensemen

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 13: Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates after scoring a goal in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Staples Center on March 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings won 5-2. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

My last look at rookies focused on forwards only, so consider this pat two of my search for the most-deserving Calder candidates.

The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10-7-5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.

This is the companion bubble graph to the previous one, displaying all rookie defensemen with 40 or more games played.

The horizontal axis shows qualcomp, specifically Corsi relative quality of competition taken from the venerable and terrifying Gabriel Desjardins' behindthenet.ca. The vertical axis shows zonestart-adjusted Corsi again from the venerable and terrifying one. The bubbles are scaled to indicate points per game. All of the caveats about comparing these numbers between teams stand, but the chart is still a useful jumping-off point for analysis and discussion.

The players included in the graph areStu Bickel, Marc-Andre Bourdon, TJ Brodie, Jared Cowen, Raphael Diaz, Alexei Emelin, Justin Falk, Justin Faulk, Jake Gardiner, Erik Gudbranson, Roman Josi, Philip Larsen, Adam Larsson, John Moore, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Prosser, Marco Scandella, and Slava Voynov.

*Click for high resolution version

Calder_finalistsd_medium

Take a moment to digest this information. After doing so, list your top three rookie defensemen in the comments below.

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