Quinn Hughes, the older brother of the 2019 first overall pick Jack Hughes, scored his first NHL goal last night against the LA Kings. Quinn is technically a rookie after being selected by the Vancouver in 2018 (7th overall).
Heading into the season the Calder Trophy race seemed to be between New Jersey Devils, Jack Hughes and New York Rangers, Kaapo Kakko. Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar was everyones sleeper pick because of his impact last year in the playoffs. These are all unbelievable players and can without a doubt take off and cruise to a Calder Trophy winning season. But Quinn Hughes is no joke to win this trophy. As a Rangers fan, getting Kakko made me read every Calder article in the beginning of the season. Quinn was just an afterthought mention in most of those articles. He is the real deal and probably has the best chances of winning the Calder given his situation in Vancouver.
In order to win the Calder you need 2 things. First, you need to be good. Like really, really good. The players I mentioned above are all very good. Second, you need to be in the right situation. Quinn Hughes is in the right spot. Vancouver is a middle of pack team, fighting for a playoff spot. He is a second pairing defensemen that will have power play time. He will have his opportunities to rack up some points both on even strength and on the power play. Right now he has 3 points in 3 games. That will obviously slow down, but I am not sure how much. I can easily see him with around 50 points and as a defensemen, that should probably win you the award given the other guys don’t have a historical rookie season.
The last two defensemen to win the Calder were Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers and Quinn’s teammate Tyler Myers for the Buffalo Sabres. To put things in perspective, Ekblad won the Calder with 39 (12, 27) points with the Panthers and Myers with 48 (11, 37) points. Quinn Hughes will without a doubt be in the discussion and with Petterson winning the Calder last year and Myers there to help his game, it is probably more likely than not. And as an older brother you cannot let Jack win this award. Otherwise the holidays and summers will be hell.
PS: The 24 year olds, Olofsson and Moore. I see you putting up points but don’t be dumb. Nobody wants to see a 24 year old rookie win the Calder. Kick rocks! Heinola seems to be the real deal, but with that d-core, no way he keeps this up.