As we all expected months ago, Auston Matthews beat out Patrik Laine for the Calder. Auston’s scoring of 40 goals and 29 assists for 69 total points to Laine’s 36 goals, 28 helpers and 64 total points made it feel like a tight race and something that was great to watch no matter what team you’re a fan of.
The voting on the other hand wasn’t that close.
Laine had a higher Point-Per-Game percentage sitting at .88, where Matthews sat a .84. Matthews did have the benefit of playing Toronto and having bigger moments in general. It’s hard to forget the four goal debut or the overtime winner at the Centennial Classic when it’s replayed over and over. Things like that tend to stay in the minds of the voters and may have influenced the votes.
Personally, I would have liked to see Matt Murray as one of the finalists this year just because he’s managed to win two Stanley Cups as a rookie but they do the voting before the playoffs. Instead we get to keep that fact as fun trivia in the future. I guess Laine will just need more hat tricks next year for voters to notice him.
Either way, we should be thankful that the rookie class this year was as great as it was because it made for some great hockey. We should be extra grateful because Patrik Laine is here to stay and will only get better as the years go by. Losing out on one trophy isn’t the end of the world and it just means this silly rivalry can die. The hockey world will focus on Nico versus Nolan and we can all be thankful for that.
And don’t dispair too much for Patty.. He also picked up an All-Rookie team nod.
— PHWA (@ThePHWA) June 22, 2017
And while some fun was poked at Auston Matthews for his age (despite actually being a bit older than Laine) no one seemed to make too much fun of Winnipeg’s super-rookie, possibly because with that all-black suit and whisp of a blonde moustache, he looked like the next James Bond villain…
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) June 22, 2017