Welcome back to The Journey. In last week's edition, I wrote a Part 2 of top rising forward prospects for April. Here is a quick update:
Yegor Sharangovich (NJD)
After two underwhelming seasons in the AHL, Sharangovich has been one of the New Jersey Devils best contributors this season with 16 goals and 29 points on the season. The 22-year-old didn't look like much of a prospect a year ago, but now appears to be a big part of the Devils young core moving forward.
Brandon Hagel (CHI)
After drafting Hagel in the sixth-round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres chose not to offer him a contract, making him a free agent. That couldn't have worked out any better for the Chicago Blackhawks, who gladly scooped him up and are being rewarded for it. The 22-year-old has eight goals and 22 points on the season. Not bad for a player who sees no time on the man advantage.
Trent Frederic (BOS)
Frederic has been one of the more talked-about rookies this season due to the fact he isn't afraid to take on anybody. He has just five points in 40 games with the Boston Bruins this season, so his offensive game certainly needs to improve, but he has impressed in other ways and is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Ross Colton (TBL)
Another rookie who has surprised in a good way this season is Tampa Bay Lightning forward Colton. The 24-year-old didn't make the team out of camp this year but was called up early in the season and has made the most of his opportunity. In 28 games this season he has provided solid secondary scoring with nine goals and 12 points.
In today's article, we will be looking at the top five players who deserve the Calder Trophy this season. Now, if we are being honest, this race is down to two players. However, there are other rookies who are having terrific seasons that deserve to be discussed.
Here are the NHL's top five rookies this season.
5. Josh Norris (OTT)
Heading into the 2020-21 season, it was expected that if the Ottawa Senators were to have a player in the Calder Trophy conversation, it would be Tim Stutzle. While the third overall pick from the 2020 draft has had a pretty good season, he has been outdone by his teammate in Norris.
Norris, 21, was taken 19th overall by the San Jose Sharks in 2017 and was acquired by the Senators in the Erik Karlsson trade. Many questioned the trade at the time, but it is now looking better and better by the day for the Sens. While Karlsson's career appears to be on the decline, Norris' is just beginning. In 53 games this season, he has 15 goals and 33 points. He will a very important piece on what projects to be a very good Ottawa team in a few years.
4. Igor Shesterkin (NYR)