The top 25 rookie skaters, sorted by ice time through the first two weeks of the season:
|1||Andy Greene, NJ||D||6||1||1||2||1||4||22:04||10|
|2||Jack Johnson, LA||D||7||0||1||1||-3||8||20:28||6|
|3||Tobias Enstrom, ATL||D||6||0||1||1||-3||2||19:47||7|
|4||Steve Wagner, STL||D||5||0||3||3||3||2||18:45||5|
|5||Patrick Kane, CHI||RW||6||0||4||4||1||6||18:19||22|
|6||Jonathan Toews, CHI||C||4||1||3||4||0||4||18:11||8|
|7||David Krejci, BOS||C||5||0||3||3||-2||2||17:41||0|
|8||Ville Koistinen, NSH||D||5||0||0||0||0||4||16:12||4|
|9||Erik Johnson, STL||D||2||1||1||2||0||0||15:52||3|
|10||Kris Russell, CLS||D||5||0||1||1||-1||2||15:09||13|
|11||Martin Hanzal, PHO||C||5||1||2||3||-1||0||14:58||10|
|12||Tom Gilbert, EDM||D||6||1||0||1||1||0||14:57||4|
|13||Bryan Little, ATL||C||6||1||1||2||2||8||14:18||13|
|14||Andrew Cogliano, EDM||C||6||2||3||5||2||0||14:15||9|
|15||Sam Gagner, EDM||C||5||0||4||4||-1||0||14:06||10|
|16||Daniel Carcillo, PHO||LW||5||2||1||3||2||22||13:52||12|
|17||Torrey Mitchell, SJ||C||6||0||1||1||-1||2||13:44||11|
|18||Marc Staal, NYR||D||5||0||0||0||-1||0||13:32||6|
|19||N. Backstrom, WAS||C||5||0||3||3||-1||0||13:21||1|
|20||Matt Niskanen, DAL||D||7||0||2||2||1||4||13:18||1|
|21||Daniel Winnik, PHO||C||5||1||1||2||-2||0||13:16||8|
|22||Brett Sterling, ATL||LW||6||0||1||1||-2||6||12:59||1|
|23||Dave Steckel, WAS||LW||5||0||0||0||0||0||12:37||2|
|24||Kyle Chipchura, MON||C||3||0||0||0||-1||0||12:09||3|
|25||Ryan Callahan, NYR||RW||5||1||0||1||1||4||12:08||8|
I'll admit, I was skeptical heading into the season that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane could make any kind of an impact on a team that promised to be as mediocre as Chicago this season, but they've proven me wrong.
One moreso than the other.
And four games into his first NHL season, I feel fairly confident in saying, barring injury, Toews will win the Calder Trophy this June.
For one, his competition isn't overwhelming. The only other really serious candidate at this (admittedly early) juncture is Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano, with Andy Greene in New Jersey likely the No. 3. Kane's in the mix as well, although I'm not 100-per-cent certain he can survive a full season at his size. (Although it's worth noting Toews is only seven months older than his tiny teammate.)
But what it will come down to, as it often does with these things, will be straight production, and Toews looks like he could easily end up with 75 points this season, in a starring role on a team with zero forward depth. Chicago's already without Martin Havlat due to injury, Rene Bourque and Jason Williams have groin issues, and Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu and Yanic Perreault have been invisible.
No, it's all up to the kids, and Toews really looks like he's up to the challenge. A lot of points, and not a lot of wins, are probably in the cards — as is a trip to Toronto come June.