NHL Midseason Awards: Ryan Getzlaf Early Favorite for MVP

Ryan Getzlaf

Calder Trophy – Most Outstanding Rookie

Winner: Tomas Hertl – San Jose Sharks

Knee surgery will keep Tomas Hertl out until after the Olympic Break at the very least, meaning he will probably follow in the footsteps of Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. RNH was a lock to win the 2012 Calder until injury struck and gave Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog the title. Hertl exploded onto the NHL scene with seven goals in his first five games, and though he has slowed down since, the Czech rookie continues to lead all first year players with 25 points. His 15 goals tie him for 19th among all NHL players. With more than a million views on Youtube, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Hertl’s sixth career goal might have done enough to make him the most outstanding rookie of the first half all by itself.

Runner Up: Hampus Lindholm – Anaheim Ducks

Short on flash, Sweden’s Hampus Lindholm hardly follows in the footsteps of countryman Erik Karlsson. Lindholm will never light up the scoreboard, but the balanced defender has still made a huge impact for the Ducks. Playing more than 19 minutes per game, Lindholm is tied with LA’s Anze Kopitar for the league’s plus-minus lead at plus-21. Despite his defensive focus, the 19-year-old’s 13 points tie him with Nashville’s Seth Jones for the second most among rookie blue-liners. Only Boston’s Torey Krug has more. If Lindholm can take advantage of Hertl’s injury, he might become the first defenseman to win the Calder Trophy since Buffalo’s Tyler Myers in 2010.

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Chris Blanchard
Chris Blanchard is a Boston, MA native and a student at Davidson College. He began writing about hockey as a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report in the fall of 2012. He has been covering the NHL for XN Sports since May of 2013. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');