The Calder Trophy Race: Early Season Candidates

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Who Are The Early Favorites?

Calder Favorites
Jean-Yves Ahern-US Presswire

Each new season fans look forward to the new exciting talents entering the league and hoping to get a glimpse of future superstars when they make their NHL debuts.

The 2013 season is just past the quarter mark, and in what is becoming an annual trend, there is a number of fresh faced rookies making significant impacts across the league.

Last season, now Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog won the Calder Trophy, narrowly edging out Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and New Jersey’s Adam Henrique. This year there is again no shortage of deserving candidates for the award.

There are high end draft draft picks, an undrafted gem and everything in between. It’s still early in the season, but some players are starting to distance themselves from the pack in this year’s freshman class.

Here’s a look at the top 10 candidates in the early going.

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10. Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens

Gallagher
Kevin Hoffman-US Presswire
The diminutive Gallagher plays with plenty of energy and is off to a good start. He plays slightly less than the others on this list but if he continues to produce he'll move up quickly.

Stat line: 12GP 4G 2A +5 11:04TOI

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9. Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins

Hamilton
Kevin Hoffman-US Presswire
The rangy defenceman has come in and looked like he's belonged from day one. He's been getting the chances and finally got his first goal this week.

Stat line: 12 GP 1G 5A -3 18:48TOI

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8. Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild

Granlund
Bruce Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
A pre-season Calder favorite he was expected to slide into the second line centre role to start the season and run with it, but he has struggled early on. He will continue to get his opportunities and could break out soon.

Stat line: 13GP 1G 4A -3 15:08TOI

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7. Marcus Foligno, Buffalo Sabres

Foligno
Timothy Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Foligno has been good for the Sabres and provides a physical presence on a team with a small group of forwards. He also has 19 PIM to start the year.

Stat line: 15GP 1G 7A -4 16:45TOI

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6. Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens

Galchenyuk
Jean-Yves Ahern-US Presswire
Just one goal on the season but Galcheyuk has been one of the Habs more dangerous forwards this season. He also leads all rookies with a +7.

Stat line: 13GP 1G 7A +7 12:02TOI

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5. Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers

Yakupov
Anne-Marie Sorvin-US Presswire
Yakupov has shown signs of being the dynamic first overall pick everyone was waiting to see. He already has shown a penchant for big time goals.

Stat line: 13GP 5G 3A -7 14:45TOI

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4. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers

Huberdeau
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Another pre-season Calder favourite, Huberdeau started off hot but has cooled a little. He is still getting plenty of chances and has shown he's belonged in the Panthers top six.

Stat line: 13GP 5G 3A E 15:36TOI

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3. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Tarasenko
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The rookie leader in goals with six, Tarasenko has been a perfect fit in the Blues lineup and has made an already deep forward group that much deeper.

Stat line: 14GP 6G 5A -2 14:27TOI

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2. Justin Schultz, Edmonton Oilers

Schultz
Anne-Marie Sorvin-US Presswire
Schultz has been as advertised and then some. He leads all rookies in ice time and rookie defenceman in scoring. He runs one of the league's top power plays and his maturity and poise with the puck belies his age.

Stat line: 13GP 4G 3A -2 22:11TOI

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1. Cory Conacher, Tampa Bay Lightning

Conacher
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Martin St. Louis protege has come out of the gate quick. The rookie leader in points was an undrafted free agent who already has an impressive resume with an AHL MVP award and a Calder Cup with the Norfolk Admirals.

Stat line: 13GP 5G 7A +2 15:18TOI

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