Kaprizov is the clear favorite after NHL announces Calder Trophy candidates

This is a slam dunk, right?


The NHL has announced its nominees for the Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie for the 2020-21 season and, surprise, surprise, Minnesota Wild sniper Kirill Kaprizov is the odds on favorite to take home the hardware. Joining Kaprizov on the ballot are Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson.

Check it out:

This is a slam dunk win for Kaprizov, right? With all due respect to Nedeljkovic and Robertson, they simply weren't on the same level as Kaprizov this year. Kaprizov popped off with 27 goals and 51 points in 55 games and was absolutely integral the the Wild's success this season. He's the most offensively gifted player the team has had since they drafted Marian Gaborik 3rd overall in 2000. Robertson's 17 goals and 45 points in 51 games is impressive no doubt and the fact that Nedeljkovic was able to wrestle his way to the starting job in Carolina despite being 3rd of 4th on the team's depth chart is equally as impressive. But again, these guys don't come close to having the impact on their teams that Kaprizov does. 

More than that though, Kaprizov is just a human highlight reel full on spectacular plays and goals. He single handedly transformed the Wild from a middle of the pack, defensive first style team into an upper echelon team with the ability to break open a game at any moment. 

I mean, just check out these highlights:

Patience, poise, killer instinct... the kid has it all. He stands to be a fixture on the Wild's roster for a long time and he looks to be the type of guy that you can truly build an entire offence around. Throw the puck on the ice, head to the front of the net and wait for Kaprizov to either feed you the puck or use you as a screen. He's the type of player who can generate offence for himself and doesn't wait around for opportunities to pop up. He makes his own opportunities and then capitalizes on those opportunities. In other words: This kid has got "it". And it's been a long, long, loooong time since you could say that about any of the Wild's forwards.