A pair of Detroit Red Wings pace the Calder Trophy Power Rankings

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Well, it’s crazy how quickly things can change for a franchise.  Two of the Detroit Red Wings first-year players pace the Calder Trophy race through the first month of the 2021 NHL season.  The Calder Trophy is awarded to the league’s top rookie.

Over the last few years, the roots of the Detroit Red Wings wholesale rebuild have been bitter to withstand at times, but watching Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond go to work each night proves the fruit of what feels like a decade’s long rebuild is so sweet.

The Score recently released their first edition of the Calder Trophy rankings for the season.  It’s something that gets published once a month throughout the regular season, and to no one’s surprise, a pair of Red Wings lead the group.

The past few years have been bleak, to say the least, surrounding the Detroit Red Wings, but suddenly we’re starting to see general manager Steve Yzerman’s plan come to fruition.  Many of us groaned when Yzerman used the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Seider.

We groaned because we hadn’t a clue who this Seider kid was, yet we expected the Red Wings to target maybe Alex Turcotte, who was picked one choice before Detroit. Or perhaps Detroit had eyes on Trevor Zegras, Dylan Cozens, or even netminder Spencer Knight understanding the organization had a serious need in goal for a future starting goaltender.

As it turns out, Seider has quickly become one of head coach Jeff Blashill’s most reliable defenders, maybe only giving way to Nick Leddy in his first NHL season.

Seider carried a five-game point streak into Montreal Tuesday evening, ending as the Red Wings were blanked 3-0.  The rookie defender is clearly a cornerstone on this Red Wings roster, already averaging over 22 minutes of ice-time per game and quarterbacks Detroit’s top power-play unit.   Seider has recorded points in seven of the team’s first ten games and has already totaled eight points.

Seider has already been named to Team Germany’s Olympic roster.

The Detroit Red Wings currently occupy the top two spots in the Calder Trophy race.

Although Seider might be the team’s most valuable rookie, forward Lucas Raymond will be giving the 20-year old defender a run for his money when it comes to the 2021-22 Calder Trophy race.

Unlike Seider, many of us expected the Yzerman to draft Lucas Raymond with the fourth overall pick in 2020, and he’s burst onto the scene quicker than we could have expected.  Raymond, like Seider, spent the COVID-19 shortened season playing overseas with men rather than a junior caliber program or sitting out the year entirely like many young players were forced to do in 2020, which only helped his development.

Raymond is firing on all cylinders through the first ten games of the season, playing alongside captain Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi on the top line.

Raymond leads all rookies with nine points in 10 games this season.  The 19-year old winger has proven he belongs; he’s demonstrated patience beyond his years with the puck on his tape.  Raymond has often displayed some stellar vision in the offensive zone and a willingness to create off the rush, almost to a fault.  I’d love to see Raymond shoot the puck more; he’s often looking to pass or waiting for the trailer when he could simply rip it to the back of the net himself.

Raymond set up Larkin’s game-winner in Detroit’s 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.  It worked nicely, but even Larkin would tell you he would have liked to see Raymond rip it on goal knowing he has untapped talent with an ability to finish consistently.

With Raymond operating at nearly a point per game clip to begin his professional career, he’s the favorite to win the Calder Trophy through the first month of the season.

Next. 3 treats the Yzerplan could contain during the season. dark

The other three players mentioned in the rankings are Spencer Knight, Dawson Mercer, and Bowen Byram.