Kochetkov's Calder Trophy Finish Doesn't Belie His Worth.

Of the finalist for the Calder Trophy, Pyotr Kochetkov is the only one not golfing at this point in the playoffs. His is the only one who's team made the playoffs, in no small part to his play. Particularly during a time with the Hurricanes needed him the most, he played his best hockey of the year, yet he finished with just 28 points in the tally. I'm not saying that's garbage, but I'm not not saying that's garbage.
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Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard, Minnesota Wild defenseman Brock Faber and New Jersey Devils blueliner Luke Hughes are all in the running to be named the NHL's top rookie this season, as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Just to give you some perspective, as if Canes fans need it on this subject, none of them are currently playing.

That Bedard, Faber, and Hughes are star rookies in not in question, but how they ended up in the final three and not Carolina Hurricanes rookie goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov is open for debate.
Were they looking just individual success only? Was it team success brought on by individual success that the writers wanted most?

Let's look at individual numbers first.

Kochetkov boasts a higher NHL ranking in respective stats than Bedard, Faber, and Hughes. Jack Hughes ranks 66th in goals. Badard doesn't crack the top 100, coming in at 106, while Faber is 51st among defensemen. Meanwhile Kotchetkov lowest ranking stat is the nominally important SHOTS AGAINST category where he falls 38th among NHL goalies.

So it can't be the individual stat line. Maybe it is was how well their teams played.

Bedard and the Blackhawks were in playoff contention on opening day. The Minnesota Wild and Brock Faber were 39-33-10, missing 1st place in the Central Division by 25 points. Luke Hughes helped the Devils to a losing season. While the Calder is supposed to represent the best rookie of the season, and not the best rookie on the best team, one cannot help but scratch their head when looking at the vote tallies.

Yet Kochetkov managed just 28 points in the Calder Trophy voting.

If the voting is not based on individual stats, nor the player's contribution to their team's success, what then is the voting based on?

Clearly no one has a clue. That or the PHWA had it's mind made up before the voting took place that Bedard was going to be the guy. Should that been the case, I guess there really is not that much difference after all between the "real" professionals and some of the other nut jobs running around the hockey world thinking they know more than everyone else.


Sure Bedard is supposedly a once in a lifetime player but anyone who has been around sports for any length of time knows such claims can fade. With a full season of healthy hockey, perhaps Connor Bedard can produce the numbers the hype machines say he can produce, but who knows?

At the end of the day, things like a Calder Trophy pale in comparison to at Stanley Cup, which Kochetkov has a better chance of lifting than the 2024's three finalist (maybe even combined), so there is some solace in that regard. Pair that with what appears to be a genuine disinterest in much of anything outside of stopping shots that Kochetkov sports, and you have a massive shugg from the rookie goalie. Carolina Hurricanes fans would do well to join that shrug and add "Keep your stupid awards" to the mix.