Lowetide’s latest for The Athletic takes a look at the Oilers best chances for a Calder trophy this season, with Evan Bouchard tipped as most likely to win the trophy that no Oiler has in 40+ years.
Most notable flubs?
Well, how about Wayne Gretzky missing out in 1979-80 (despite scoring 137 points and winning the first of 8 consecutive Hart Trophies) due to his WHA experience? To make matters worse, the season after, Peter Stastny won it with 109 points and a full year of experience in the Czech league. Figure that one out.
Then there’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Nuge was excellent in his rookie season, despite the team being atrocious, and was named the league’s rookie of the month in October and November. He was named to the NHL’s All Star Game had he been healthy, and finished tied for the league lead in rookie scoring with 52 points in 62 GP while Landeskog — the winner — managed the same tally over 20 more GP. Ouch.
How about Nail Yakupov? He, too, tied for the league lead in rookie scoring thanks to a blistering April (11 G) and a hat trick in his last game, but it wasn’t enough to pip Jonathan Huberdeau.
And then, of course, there’s Connor McDavid. McDavid missed time due to injury — thanks Brandon Manning, you racist POS — and still finished third in voting despite missing almost half the season. Even then, the eventual winner was a 25 year old (Artemiy Panarin) who had spent the previous three years in the KHL.
Will this be the year an Oiler takes the trophy? Not likely. Evan Bouchard might be their best shot, and right now he might be their 8D who probably won’t dress without an injury in front of him.
Still, can you believe the Oilers haven’t had a Calder winner?
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