Anyone who can score such a beautiful goal, on his NHL debut, in the NHL playoffs, against the Western Conference’s top team, has to be considered a serious contender for the award. Cale Makar was the recipient of this year’s Hobey Baker Award, so he already has experience of beating Quinn Hughes to prestigious awards, and will be playing primarily behind the Avs’ top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen.
If you’re a betting person, Cale Makar is a very good shot for next season’s Calder Trophy. However, the same requirements apply to Makar as they do to Quinn Hughes: he needs a 50-point season to even begin to turns heads.
For me, Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar are the two most exciting rookies lining up for NHL teams next season – the fact they are defenseman should not lessen their chances of winning the Calder, but with so much hype around Jack Hughes, it’s going to be harder for either to stake their claim. There’s also a very good chance that both have excellent seasons and split the vote, allowing someone else (Jack Hughes) to win the award instead.
The more I think about it, the more I believe there should be a Calder award for each position. Who’s with me?