OTH: 2021-22 Calder Trophy Candidates

Image for OTH: 2021-22 Calder Trophy Candidates

Dawson Mercer New Jersey Devils

With the Carbonear, Newfoundland native having cracked the NHL lineup in Newark, New Jersey Mercer looks to make a strong showcase for why he could be a very bonafide rookie at the center position in the NHL. The 2-way Canadian Army Knife looks to be a very versatile and potent threat throughout the Devils lineup. The way Dawson plays is the style of hockey every NHL coach and General Manager in the NHL would gush for to have on their roster. Mercer idolized Patrice Bergeron who was and still is a phenomenal Selke candidate that can create offence with and without the puck. Dawson Mercer is the kind of guy every NHL fantasy owner should pounce on whenever he becomes available, and will only learn to produce more points in a 200 foot styled game he plays.

Trevor Zegras Anaheim Ducks

With former USNTDP centerman Trevor Zegras having played under 82 games (24 games technically) at the NHL level in a shortened season. Zegras is the true definition of “silky mitts” when it comes to cradling, and dangling the puck, not only will he dangle opponents to death but the patience and the accuracy on his wrist and snapshots alone are just a few reasons to have him win the Calder Trophy. One of the most exciting aspects of Trevor’s game is that if you think you shoved him outside the point he can spin like a dreidle and lead that pass to the stick of his teammate for a jaw-dropping assist. 

Lucas Raymond Detroit Red Wings

The Swedish leftwinger is a very familiar name when not only it comes to the Swedish National Team but also was New Jersey Devils prospect Alexander Holtz’s linemate on the big stage in the World Juniors. Raymond’s style of hockey is more on the playmaker side of his game. Lucas Raymond has a very good set of hands that not only makes him an exciting playmaker also a great shooter that can do a slap pass. Regardless of the Red Wings season outcome, they can benefit from the fruits of Raymond’s labour not only on 5v5 but in on the power play. 

Alexander Holtz New Jersey Devils

Despite not making the team out of the NHL preseason tryout camp Alexander Holtz is only going to become a more well-rounded skater under Kevin Dineen in the AHL. It won’t take Holtz very long once he gets in the groove of producing in Utica that springboards his game into the Devils lineup.

One of the keys to his success is that Holtz is a shoot-first guy similar to Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Laine with that “sniper mentality” that I have noticed in him since his draft season a few seasons back. The way Holtz holds himself on the offensive side of the puck shows that quick and super lethal laser of a shot.

Bowen Byram Colorado Avalanche

Cranbrook, British Columbia native Bowen Byram has been a highly regarded prospect from a period being in the WHL to being selected 4th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. He’s a young 6’1″ 190lb left-handed shot who can contribute on a top-line pair for the Colorado Avalanche. Byram is going to be a defensive presence in the western conference who not only can provide the offence on even strength but being able to perform at a high level with teammate Cale Makar.

Byram like Makar will make a name for himself offensively due to his strong defensive structure, and his hockey IQ is good versus peers his age. As Bowen starts taking more shots on net and the forwards upfront and a defenseman like Makar jumping in look for him to be in the top 5 in the Calder Trophy Finalist voting column. One of the biggest benefits for him to win it all will be due to his team very likely being a lock for the playoffs, maybe beyond it all.

main image credit

Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

Former writer for Pucks and Pitchforks and The Puck Authority. I cover New Jersey Devils hockey and NHL Draft prospects. I have a podcast called Heads Up Hockey on Also I write for Full Press Hockey.