Awards = HOF?: Part Fifty-One: The Calder Trophy

Awards = HOF?: Part Fifty-One: The Calder Trophy
16 Sep
Not in Hall of Fame

We here at thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least number of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Last time, we looked at the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in the NFL.  This time we went back to hockey, with the Calder Trophy, given annually to the NHL Rookie of the Year.

So how many Calder Trophy winners have made the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame?

Let’s find out!

The following are the past players who have won the Calder Trophy who are eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame and have been enshrined.

Carl Voss, New York Rangers & Detroit Red Wings, Center: 8 G, 16 A, 24 P, 2.8 PS 1933       

You could argue that we are starting this one with an asterisk, as Voss was not inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player, but as a builder for his work as an Administrator in various minor leagues of hockey.  Having said that, don’t sleep on his career as the American born-Canadian raised player was a great athlete, who prior to his NHL career won the Grey Cup in 1924 with Queen’s College and in the minors was a leading scorer (IHL in 1932).  Voss had played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for 14 Games in the late 20s, but he finally became a regular on the roster of the New York Rangers for in 1932.  Ten Games into the season, he was sold to the Detroit Red Wings, where he proved his worth in the NHL, and was the first ever rookie of the year.  Voss later played for the Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Eagles, New York Americans, Montreal Maroons and Chicago Blackhawks, where in his final NHL game, he scored the Stanley Cup winning goal to seal the deal for the 1938 Title.  Forced to retire afterward due to a knee injury, Voss would begin his career as an administrator.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Sweeney Schriner, New York Americans, Left Wing: 18 G, 22 A, 40 P, 4.5 PS 1935        

Sweeney Schriner goes down in history as the only Calder Trophy winner in the history of the New York Americans.  The Left Wing would lead the NHL in scoring the next two seasons, where he was a First Team All-Star and Second Team All-Star respectively. Later in his career, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he won two Stanley Cups and was again a First Team All-Star.  Schriner played until 1946, retiring with 407 Points in 484 Games.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs, Centre: 16 G, 29 A, 45 P, 6.1 PS 1937         

Apps played all of his career with the Leafs and in his rookie year, he led the NHL in Assists.  He did that again as a sophomore, where he was a Second Team All-Star, an accolade he repeated twice more.  Apps was also a First Team All-Star twice, a Lady Byng winner, and he was second in Hart Trophy voting three times.  The Centre helped to lead Toronto to the Stanley Cup three times and he scored 432 Points in 423 Games.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961.

Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins, Goalie: 33-9-1 Record, 1.56 GAA, 11.3 GPS 1939

Frank Brimsek became the second American Goalie to win the Calder, but he shattered the overall success of his predecessor. The Minnesotan was the first player to win the Calder and the Vezina in the same year, and also the first to win the Calder and Stanley Cup in the same season.  He led all Goalies in Wins (33), GAA (1.56), Shutouts (10), and Point Shares (11.3), and he was named a First Team All-Star.  Brimsek would later win a second Vezina, was a First Team All-Star one more time, a Second Team, All-Star six times and won another Cup in 1941.  Brimsek would also play for the Blackhawks, and he retired with 252 Wins and a career 2.70 GAA.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961.

Edgar Laprade, New York Rangers, Center: 15 G, 19 A, 34 P, 2.9 PS 1946   

Laprade played the entirety of his NHL career with the New York Rangers, which would span ten seasons.  A clean player, Laprade would win the Lady Byng in 1949/50, and he was seventh in Hart Trophy voting that year.  He scored 280 Points, which may not seem like a lot but he was also a skilled defensive forward.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings, Goalie: 44-12-13 Record, 1.97 GAA, 17.0 PS 1951  

The 1950/51 season began one of the most phenomenal half-decades that a Goalie ever had in the NHL.  Terry Sawchuk would not only win the Calder in his rookie year, he would also lead the NHL in Wins (44), Goalie Point Shares (17.0), and was a First Team All-Star.  Over the next four seasons, the Red Wings Goalie won three Stanley Cups, three Vezinas, two First Team All-Star Selections, two GAA Titles, and four more league-lead in Wins.  Following that incredible run, Sawchuk was still a very good Goalie, winning a Vezina in 1964/65, another Stanley Cup in 1967 with Toronto and two Second Team All-Star nods.  Over his career, Sawchuk also played for Boston, Los Angeles and New York, and he retired with 350 career Wins.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens, Right Wing: 30 G, 24 A, 54 P, 7.4 PS  1952       

Geoffrion led the NHL in Power Play Goals as a rookie (10), and he went on to have a long and prosperous career with the Canadiens. The French-Canadian went on to win six Stanley Cups, two Goal Scoring Titles, two Art Ross Trophies and the Hart Trophy in 1961.  Geoffrion scored 822 Points over a 883-Game career.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Gump Worsley, New York Rangers, Goalie: 44-12-13 Record, 1.97 GAA, 17.0 PS 1953   

Worsley did the best he could on a poor Rangers team, but the hockey world recognized that the “Gump” was a talented Goalie. Worsley played until the mid-70s, and he would win four Stanley Cups with Montreal where he was also a two-time Vezina Trophy winner.  Worlsey played into his mid-40s, where he the charismatic Goalie played for the Minnesota North Stars for his last four years.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

Glenn Hall, Detroit Red Wings, Goalie: 30-24-16 Record, 2.10 GAA, 14.5 PS 1956         

How do you replace a legend like Terry Sawchuk? With a legend like Glenn Hall.  As a rookie, Hall was a Second Team All-Star, and he led the NHL in Shutouts (12).  Hall was a First Team All-Star in his second season, but despite this he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks after the season.  Hall played for Chicago for a decade where he won two Vezinas, was a First Team All-Star five times, and backstopped the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup win in 1961.  Hall joined the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1967 and immediately made them relevant, bringing them to three Stanley Cup appearances, and while they lost them all, Hall was the Conn Smythe winner in 1968.  He also won a third Vezina playing in St. Louis.  The Goalie played until 1971, and retired with a record of 279-229-107.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

Frank Mahovolich, Toronto Maple Leafs, Left Wing: 20 G, 16 A, 36 P, 4.9 PS 1958        

Nicknamed the “Big M”, Mahovolich had a decent rookie year, but would morph into one of the leaders of a powerful Toronto squad that won four Stanley Cups in the 1960s.  In this period, Mahovolich was a two-time First Team All-Star and four-time Second Team All-Star, and had two top-five finishes for the Hart. Following Toronto’s last Cup win in 1967, Mahovolich was traded to Detroit during the 1967/68 season, and he added a pair of Second Team All-Stars in Motown.  He later played for Montreal, where he won the Stanley Cup twice more with another First Team All-Star etched on his resume.  Mahovolich had 1,103 Points in the NHL, and he also had four pro seasons in the WHA where he scored 232 Points.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

Bill Hay, Chicago Blackhawks, Centre: 18 G, 37 A, 55 P, 4.9 PS: 1960         

Hay did well as a rookie, and played a significant role on the Chicago team that won the Stanley Cup the year after.  Hay eclipsed his 55 Point Rookie year three times and led the NHL in Assists per Game in 1961/62.  Hay played his entire NHL career with the Blackhawks, collecting 386 career Points.  We will count this as while Hay did not have a Hall of Fame career as a player, he was inducted as a builder for his work as the past President and CEO of the Calgary Flames and as the Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 as a Builder.

Dave Keon, Chicago Blackhawks, Centre: 20 G, 25 A, 45 P, 4.2 PS: 1961     

After Keon’s Calder winning season, he became a core part of the Maple Leafs squad that won four Stanley Cups, so much so that he won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1967 as the playoff MVP.  Keon would be a two-time Second Team All-Star, and he won the Lady Byng in consecutive seasons in 1962 and 1963.  Keon bolted for the WHA in 1975, playing for Minnesota, Indiana and New England, rejoining the NHL, when the Whalers were one of the four teams that merged with the senior hockey circuit.  Keon retired in 1982 with 986 NHL Points and 291 WHA Points..

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens, Defenseman:  2 G, 28 A, 30 P, 6.7 PS: 1964

Laperriere had a great rookie campaign as he not only won the Calder but was named a Second Team All-Star.  Playing all 12 years of his NHL career with the Habs, the Defenseman was a First Team All-Star the two years after his rookie season, and was the Norris Trophy winner in 1965/66.  Laperriere helped Montreal win five Stanley Cups, and was a one-time leader in Plus/Minus.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, Defenseman:  13 G, 28 A, 30 P, 6.7 PS: 1964

Orr was a Second Team All-Star in his rookie season and was third in Norris Trophy voting.  It was a good year, but it did not accurately foreshadow what Orr would accomplish.  Over the next eight seasons, Orr was an annual First Team All-Star and Norris Trophy winner.  He won three straight Hart Trophies (1970-72), two Stanley Cups, and was the first Defenseman to lead the NHL in scoring; which he did twice!  Orr transformed what Defenseman could do, and some will argue that he is not just the greatest blueliner of all-time, but the best hockey player ever!  

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Tony Esposito, Chicago Blackhawks, Goalie:  38-17-8 Record, 2.17 GAA, 14.7 GPS: 1970

Esposito played 13 Games the previous year with the Montreal Canadiens and the Blackhawks claimed him in the Intraleague Draft (basically, waivers).  Esposito had a monster rookie year where he led the NHL in Wins (38), Save Percentage (.932) and Shutouts (15) and he was a First Team All-Star and a Vezina Trophy win. Esposito played his entire career with Chicago and he went on to win two more Vezina, two First Team All-Stars and two Second Team All-Stars.  The Goalie would have 302 career Wins.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres, Centre:  38 G, 34 A, 72 P, 6.5 GPS: 1971

Perreault was the first Buffalo Sabre to win the Calder, and two years later he won the Lady Byng.  The French-Canadian played his entire career with Buffalo where he was a two-time Second Team All-Star and exceed the 100 Point mark twice. Perreault scored 1,326 Points over 1,191 Games.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens, Goalie:  39-8-15 Record, 2.24 GAA, 15.0 GPS: 1972

Dryden did this backwards, as he was already a legend BEFORE he completed his rookie year.  Late in the 1970/71 season, he replaced the injured Rogie Vachon, and he was astounding.  Dryden backstopped the Habs to a Stanley Cup win where he won the Conn Smythe, thus becoming the first player to win the Conn Smythe before the Calder.  In that Calder Trophy winning season, he was a Second Team All-Star, the runner-up for the Hart and the league-leader in Wins (39). Dryden played until 1979 where he led the NHL three more times in Wins, five First Team All-Stars, five Vezinas, and five more Stanley Cups.  Dryden was the top Goalie of the 1970s and he had a career record 258-57-74 with a 2.24 GAA.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Denis Potvin, New York Islanders, Defenseman:  17 G, 37 A, 54 P, 8.7 PS: 1974

Easily the best Defenseman in Islanders history, Potvin was the first player in Long Island to win the Calder and he was the first building block that would become the Islanders dynasty in the early 1980s. Potvin played all 15 years of his career with New York, was a First Team All-Star five times, two Second Team All-Stars and won three Norris Trophies.  He scored 1,052 career Points.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders, Centre:  32 G, 63 A, 95 P, 8.6 PS: 1976

Above was the first piece of the Islanders dynasty, Denis Potvin.  Here is the second one, Bryan Trottier.  The Centre set a then record for rookies with 95 Points, and he would become one of the top scorers in the NHL.  Trottier would win the Hart and Art Ross in 1978/79, and the year after he won the Conn Smythe in New York’s first of four straight Stanley Cups.  A two-time First Team and two-time Second Team All-Star, Trottier played the late stages of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he won two Stanley Cups as an elder statesman.  Trottier scored 524 Goals and 1,425 Points.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Mike Bossy, New York Islanders, Right Wing:  32 G, 63 A, 95 P, 8.6 PS: 1976

This of this for a second.  With the Calder win of Bossy, there were three Islander Calder winners in a five-year period, all of whom would enter the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Is it any wonder that this trio led the Islanders a four-Cup dynasty?  Bossy was the first Calder winner to net over 50 Goals, and was a Second Team All-Star.  Bossy went on to win two Goal-scoring titles, five First Team All-Stars, three Lady Byngs and a Conn Smyth.  Injuries forced him out at the age of 30, but he still retired with 573 Goals and 1,126 Points.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins, Defenseman:  32 G, 63 A, 95 P, 8.6 PS: 1980

Bourque was a First Team All-Star as a rookie, and he earned that honor 12 more times in his career.  Also, a three-time Second Team All-Star, Bourque won the Norris Trophy five times, and he NEVER had a year where he did not finish at least seventh in voting.  Bourque was Boston hockey for nearly two decades, but he never won the Stanley Cup as a Bruin.  In what would be his penultimate NHL season, Bourque was traded to Colorado to chase the Holy Grail of Hockey.  The season after that trade, Bourque and the Avalanche won the Cup, and as happy as Denver was, Boston fans were just as happy for their beloved former star.  In a 21-year career, the Montreal native scored 1,579 Points, the most ever by a Defenseman.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Peter Stastny, Quebec Nordiques, Centre:  39 G, 70 A, 109 P, 8.6 PS: 1981

This was a groundbreaking Calder Trophy win. Peter Stastny was the first Quebec Nordique/Colorado Avalanche to win, the first from a former WHA team to win, the first to score over 100 Points, but most importantly, he was the first European to win the Calder.  Stastny was a superstar for the Czechoslovakian National Team and he defected to Canada to play for the Nordiques.  Stastny had six more 100 Point years (all with Quebec) and had 1,239 over his 15 NHL seasons.  

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Dale Hawerchuk, Winnipeg Jets, Centre:  45 G, 58 A, 103 P, 8.6 PS: 1981

From one former WHA team to another we go from Quebec City to Winnipeg, with Dale Hawerchuk, the first superstar for the team in their NHL era.  Hawerchuk had 103 Points as a rookie, and hit the three-digit Point mark five more times, all as a Jet.  Hawerchuk was a Second Team All-Star in 1984/85 and he was second behind Wayne Gretzky for the Hart.  Also playing for Buffalo, St. Louis and Philadelphia, Hawerchuk scored 1,409 Points in 1,188 Games.  

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins, Centre:  43 G, 57 A, 100 P, 7.5 PS: 1985

Mario Lemieux is a player who saved an NHL franchise twice.  The first was in his Calder season where he instantly lived up to the hype, and became at one time the best player in the league.  Remember, this was no small task, as it was Wayne Gretzky who he had to dethrone.  Lemieux captured the Hart Trophy three times, the Art Ross six times, and was a First Team All-Star five times.  Lemieux took the Pens to two Stanley Cup wins, he overcame cancer, and then he saves the team again.  With the Penguins in financial despair, he worked out the remaining money owed to him and worked out a deal to buy the team.  He played again, becoming the first owner/player in the modern era, and as an owner he won three more Cups.  Lemieux scored 1,723 Points in 915 Games.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings, Left Wing:  45 G, 39 A, 84 P, 6.8 PS: 1985

Robitaille was a Second Team All-Star as a rookie, and he would be a First Team All-Star five of the next six seasons.  The Left Wing exceeded the 100 Point plateau four times and while he played most of his career with Los Angeles, he won a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002.  Robitaille also played for the Penguins and the Rangers, and he scored 1,394 career Points, 1,154 of which as a King.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Joe Niewendyk, Calgary Flames, Centre:  51 G, 41 A, 92 P, 8.7 PS: 1988

It is possible to claim that Nieuwendyk’s Calder winning season was his best regular season in hockey.  He scored 51 Goals, his career-best and he tied that mark as a sophomore.  Nieuwendyk also was first in Power Play Goals as a rookie.  If it is in fact the case that Nieuwendyk never matched his skill level in his first two years like other Calder winners, the Centre did however remain at a high tier for years and he amassed a long career where he scored 1,126 Points.  Niewendyk helped take Calgary to a Stanley Cup win in 1989 and later in a renaissance performance in 1999, he won the cup again as a Dallas Star where he won the Conn Smythe.  He also played for New Jersey, Toronto and Florida.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Brian Leetch, New York Rangers, Defense:  23 G, 48 A, 71 P, 9.0 PS: 1989

One of the best American Defenseman in hockey history, Leetch was also the best blueliner in the team history of the New York Rangers.  With New York, Leetch was a two-time Norris Trophy winner, was a two-time First Team All-Star and a three-time Second Team All-Star.  These were great things to put in a trophy case, but it was the Conn Smythe Trophy he won when he anchored that Rangers to the 1994 Stanley Cup. Leetch would play until 2006 and scored 1,028 Points, 981 of which were as a Ranger.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Sergei Makarov, Calgary Flames, Right Wing:  24 G, 62 A, 86 P, 6.8 PS: 1990

It was not that Sergei Makarov did not deserve the Calder.  Statistically speaking, he did.  The backlash was that he as 31 Years Old, and a top flight player from the Soviet Red Army, so his experience level was through the roof.  Makarov is the only player to win the Calder Trophy, who did so AFTER his peak.  He played in the NHL until 1997 with 384 career Points.  Makarov entered the Hockey Hall but it was mostly for his work in the former Soviet Union.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Ed Belfour, Chicago Blackhawks, Goalie:  43-19-7 Record, 2.47 GAA, 14.0 GPS: 1991

Belfour’s rookie season would not just see him win the Calder, as he was also the Vezina Trophy winner, William M. Jennings winner, and a First Team All-Star.  Belfour led all the Goalies in Wins (43), Saves (1,713), Save Percentage (.910) and Goals Against Average (2.47).  Belfour went on to win another Vezina, three more Jennings, a First Team All-Star, a Second Team All-Star and a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars.  The Goalie also played for San Jose, Toronto and Florida.  Belfour had a career record of 484-320-126.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks, Right Wing:  34 G, 26 A, 60 P, 5.7 PS: 1992

After a good rookie year, Bure but up back-to-back 60 Goal years, the second one being good enough to lead the NHL, and land him a First Team All-Star nod.  Bure later played for Florida, where he had two more league-leading seasons in Goals, both of which were Second Team All-Star worthy.  Bure finished his NHL career in 2003, and he had 779 Points in only 702 Games.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Teemu Selanne, Winnipeg Jets, Right Wing:  76 G, 56 A, 132 P, 13.4 PS: 1993

A case can be made that Teemu Selanne’s debut season was the best ever by a non-Gaolie.  Selanne set a rookie record with 76 Goals, and he was a First Team All-Star.  Selanne never matched that total, but he had a long and fruitful career, where he led the NHL twice more in Goals, was a First Team All-Star a second time, was a two-time Second Team All-Star, and a Stanley Cup Champion with the Ducks. Selanne also played for San Jose and Colorado, and would score 1,457 Points over his 21-year career.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Goalie:  27-11-8 Record, 8.9 GPS: 1994

The career of Martin Brodeur is nothing short of outstanding.  Following his Calder win, he captured three Stanley Cups, four Vezina Trophies, five William M. Jennings Trophies, and was a three-time First Team and Second Team All-Star.  Brodeur led the NHL in Wins nine times, and was the league-leader in GAA once.  When Brodeur retired, he had the “W” 691 times, more than anyone Goalie. And he is also the all-time leader in Saves (28,928), Shutouts (125) and Minutes Played (74,439).

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

Peter Forsberg, Quebec Nordiques, Centre:  15 G, 35 A, 50 P, 5.0 GPS: 1995

Eric Lindros refused to play for the Quebec Nordiques when they drafted him and after sitting out a year, Quebec traded him to Philadelphia for a glut of picks, players and the rights to a Swedish Center named Peter Forsberg.  We can argue that Forsberg was the best player in the transaction.  Forsberg went on to help Colorado (Quebec relocated) win two Stanley Cups and individually he won the Hart and Art Ross Trophy in 2002/03. He was also a three-time First Team All-Star and he retired with 885 Points in only 708 Games.  Forsberg also played for Philadelphia and Nashville.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.


The following are the players who have won the Calder Trophy who are eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame and have not been selected:

Russ Blinco, Montreal Maroons, Center: 14 G, 9 A, 23 P, 4.1 PS 1934

Unless the Montreal Maroons are suddenly resurrected, Russ Blinco will be the only member of this long defunct franchise to win the Calder.  Blinco would help the Maroons win the Stanley Cup the following year, where he was also the runner-up for the Lady Byng.  He played for Montreal three more years, and had one more season with the Chicago Blackhawks before he retired.  Blinco had 125 Points over his six-year career.

Eligible since 1942.  Unranked on

Mike Karakas, Chicago Blackhawks, Goalie: 21-19-8 Record, 1.85 GAA, 9.5 GPS 1936  

Karakas made history as the first American born and raised to win the Calder, and he was also the first Goalie to win the award. For that matter, he was also the first American born and raised Goalie in the NHL.  Karakas would play until 1946, with all but five of his games played in a Chicago uniform.  He won a Stanley Cup in 1938.

Eligible since 1949.  Unranked on

Cully Dahlstrom, Chicago Blackhawks, Centre: 10 G, 9 A, 19 P, 1.3 PS 1938        

Dahlstrom made it back-to-back for American born Calder winners, and the Centre would play his entire eight-year career with the Blackhawks.  The Calder would be the only individual honor that Dahlstrom would win on the professional level, but his name was etched on the Stanley Cup when Chicago won it all in 1938.  Dahlstrom scored 206 Points in 345 career Games.

Eligible since 1948.  Unranked on

Kilby MacDonald, New York Rangers, Centre: 15 G, 13 A, 28 P, 3.8 PS 1938        

The sky might have seemed to be the limit for Kilby MacDonald, as he not only won the Calder Trophy, he also hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head in his rookie season.  That would not be the case for MacDonald, who never matched his rookie year, and was sent down to the minors shortly after before joining the Canadian Army. He made it back to the Rangers in 1943, playing two more years before going back to the minors.  MacDonald only had 79 career Points.

Eligible since 1948.  Unranked on

John Quilty, Montreal Canadiens, Centre: 18 G, 16 A, 34 P, 3.9 PS 1941    

Quilty’s rookie year was by far his best, as he never came close to these numbers again.  World War II would see Quilty leave the NHL for the Canadian Army, and he missed several years, returning for three Games in 1946-47.  He played only one more year in the NHL, splitting time between Montreal and Boston, but he was not playing at an NHL worthy level. A compound fracture of his leg resulted in his retirement, and Quilty would only have 70 career Points.

Eligible since 1951.  Unranked on

Grant Warwick, New York Rangers, Right Wing: 16 G, 17 A, 33 P, 3.0 PS 1942     

Like the previous two Calder winners, Grant Warwick likely won’t get into the Hockey Hall of Fame, however unlike those two individuals, Warwick did not peak as a rookie.  The Saskatchewan native would not miss time due to World War II, and he exceeded his rookie Point total six times.  Warwick would also play for Boston and Montreal in his career, and in 1955, he was the player/coach on the Canadian Team that won the World Hockey Championship.  The Right Wing scored 289 career Points.

Eligible since 1953.  Unranked on

Gaye Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs, Left Wing: 24 G, 23 A, 47 P, 4.0 PS 1943      

After Gaye Stewart won the Calder (and the Stanley Cup), he went into the Canadian Military to serve in World War II.  The Left Winger came back for the 1945/46 Season and promptly built on his rookie year as if he never left, leading the NHL in Goals (37) was a First Team All-Star, and was the runner-up for the Hart. Stewart’s production dipped the following year, but he helped Toronto win another Stanley Cup.  After a poor start in 1947/48 he was traded to Chicago and rebounded with a Second Team-All-Star nod, which was the last one he had.  He would later play for Detroit, New York and Montreal, and had 344 Points in his nine-year career.

Eligible since 1956.  Ranked #145 on

Gus Bodnar, Toronto Maple Leafs, Centre: 22 G, 40 A, 62 P, 4.5 PS 1944    

Bodnar likely got an early opportunity to earn an NHL spot due to the World War II depletion of talent.  That might be why he never eclipsed his rookie totals, but he had a long 12-year career and won two Stanley Cup Rings (1945 & 1947) with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Bodnar also played for Chicago and Boston, and he would accumulate 397 Points.

Eligible since 1958.  Unranked on

Frank McCool, Toronto Maple Leafs, Goalie: 24-22-4, 3.22 GAA, 10.1 GPS 1945   

There may never be another player who won the Calder Trophy who had a career as brief as Frank McCool.  Playing at Goalie, McCool was the third straight Maple Leaf to win the Calder, and this year he backstopped Toronto to a Stanley Cup win. He played only 22 Games the following year, only to retire abruptly due to severe ulcers.  We can’t imagine another Calder winner with only 72 Games Played in his career.

Eligible since 1949.  Unranked on

Howie Meeker, Toronto Maple Leafs, Right Wing: 27 G, 18 A, 45 P, 5.3 GPS: 1947        

Meeker was the fourth Maple Leaf in five years to win the Calder, and his 45 Point year turned out to be the best of his career. Meeker would win the Stanley Cup as a rookie, and twice again in 1948 and 1951.  Meeker would go onto greater fame as a broadcaster in Hockey night in Canada as an analyst for over twenty-five years.  He would score 185 Points over 346 Games.

Eligible since 1958.  Unranked on

Jim McFadden, Detroit Red Wings, Centre: 24 G, 24 A, 48 P, 5.7 GPS: 1948        

McFadden became the first Detroit Red Wing to win the Calder, and like so many before him, the Centre set personal bests in scoring (48) as a rookie.  McFadden won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1950, and he would also play for the Blackhawks.  His NHL career ended in 1954, and he would score 226 Points over seven seasons.

Eligible since 1957.  Unranked on

Pentti Lund, New York Rangers, Right Wing: 14 G, 16 A, 30 P, 2.6 PS: 1949         

Here is something you wouldn’t think was true. The first Scandinavian born player to win a major individual award took place before 1950.  Granted, that player was Finnish-born Pentti Lund, who immigrated to Canada as a six-year-old, so it doesn’t count for the most part, but he was the first nevertheless.  Lund never won another accolade in the NHL, and he lasted a total of five seasons, three with New York and two with Boston.  He would score 77 Points in his career.

Eligible since 1956.  Unranked on

Jack Gelineau, Boston Bruins, Goalie: 22-30-15, 3.28 GAA, 7.3 GPS: 1950  

Gelineau played four games for the Bruins in 1948/49 and took over as the top netminder for the Boston Bruins the following year, where despite the losing record, he had a good rookie year keeping the Bruins competitive.  Gelineau had an even better sophomore year, but when he sought a raise from Bruins ownership he was rebuffed.  Rather than stay in Boston, he returned to his native province of Quebec, where he played a few years in the provincial league for a few seasons, save for two games in 1954 with Chicago.

Eligible since 1956.  Unranked on

Camille Henry, New York Rangers, Centre: 24 G, 15 A, 39 P, 5.4 PS: 1954  

20 of Henry’s 24 Goals were on the power play, and it was enough to lead the NHL.  Henry struggled the next two seasons, and was demoted to the minors.  He returned to again lead the NHL in Power Play Goals twice, and in 1957/58 he was a Second Team All-Star and Lady Bing winner. Henry played most of his career with New York, finishing his professional run with Chicago and St. Louis. He would have 478 Points.

Eligible since 1973.  Ranked #201 on

Ed Litzenberger, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, Centre: 23 G, 28 A, 51 P, 5.8 PS: 1955   

It was a unique rookie year for Litzenberger, who began the year as a Montreal Canadian, but was donated early in the season to the Chicago Blackhawks in an effort to help save the team from folding. Litzenberger played 29 Games that year in Montreal, scoring 11 Points, but he went on to have 40 Points in 44 Games to conclude the season in Chicago.  Litzenberger went on to have three 60-plus years with the Blackhawks, and would win four Stanley Cups; one with Chicago and three with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He retired with 416 career Points.

Eligible since 1967.  Ranked #190 on

Ralph Backstrom, Montreal Canadiens, Centre: 18 G, 22 A, 40 P, 3.8 PS: 1959    

In Backstrom’s Calder Trophy winning year with the Montreal Canadiens, he was a member of the Stanley Cup Championship Team. Providing good two-way hockey for years, Backstrom won five more Cup with the Habs.  He would later play for Los Angeles and Chicago, before moving to the WHA with stints with Chicago, Denver, Ottawa and New England. Backstrom had 639 NHL Points and 253 WHA Points. 

Eligible since 1980.  Ranked #33 on

Bobby Rousseau, Montreal Canadiens, Right Wing: 21 G, 24 A, 45 P, 4.5 PS: 1962        

In his rookie year, Bobby Rousseau had four Short-Handed Goals, which was enough to lead the NHL.  Rousseau did not do that again, but he found a niche in the powerful Montreal Canadiens team that won four Stanley Cups in the 1960s. During his stint in Montreal, Rousseau was a Second Team All-Star and league-leader in Assists in 1965/66. When the decade ended, Rousseau was a Minnesota North Star for one season and a New York Ranger for four before retiring in 1975.  Bobby Rousseau Rousseau scored 703 Points over a 942-Game career.

Eligible since 1978.  Ranked #158 on

Kent Douglas, Toronto Maple Leafs, Defenseman: 7 G, 15 A, 22 P, 6.6 PS: 1963   

It took 30 years for the Calder Trophy to be awarded to a Defenseman, and again it went to a Toronto Maple Leaf.  A relatively late arrival to the NHL (he was 26), Douglas led the NHL in Defensive Point Shares as a rookie (5.1), but it would be the only time he would do so.  Douglas won the Stanley Cup as a rookie, and technically did two more times, but he was not on those post-season rosters, which reflects that his best season was as a rookie.  He would also play for Oakland, Detroit and the New York Raiders of the WHA.  

Eligible since 1976.  Unranked on

Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings, Goalie: 40-22-7 Record, 2.42 GAA, 14.4 PS: 1965     

Roger Crozier did not just win the Calder, as he was a First Team All-Star, and the NHL leader in Wins (40), Shutouts (6) and Goalie Point Shares (14.4).  The Red Wings Goalie would take the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup Finals the next season against the heavily favored Montreal Canadiens.  Montreal won, but Crozier was spectacular and he became the first Conn Smythe winner on a losing team.  Crozier’s career went downhill after, but he played until 1977 with stints in Buffalo and Washington.  He had a career record of 206-194-72.

Eligible since 1980.  Unranked on

Brit Selby, Toronto Maple Leafs, Left Wing: 14 G, 13 A, 27 P, 2.0 PS: 1966

While there were many Calder winners who had much shorter careers than Brit Selby, it is hard to argue that he was the worst player to win the award.  With only 2.0 Point Shares in his Calder year (nearly half of his career 4.3), Selby was sent back to the minors and was not a member of the Leafs 1967 Stanley Cup win. The next year, he was a member of the expansion Philadelphia Flyers, and he would later play again for Toronto, St. Louis and the WHA’s Quebec Nordiques, New England Whalers and Toronto Toros.  He would have 117 career NHL Points and 74 Points in the WHA.

Eligible since 1978.  Unranked on

Derek Sanderson, Boston Bruins, Centre: 24 G, 25 A, 49 P, 4.8 PS: 1968     

After his good Calder year, Sanderson would have a long career (mostly with the Boston Bruins), and while he was a good player, the tough guy’s good looks and fame were much higher than his on-ice skill. He would help Boston win two Stanley Cups.  His hard-partying lifestyle held his career back, but he did score 452 Points in a career that also saw Sanderson play for the New York Rangers, St. Louis, Vancouver and Pittsburgh.  

Eligible since 1981.  Unranked on

Danny Grant, Minnesota North Stars, Left Wing: 34 G, 31 A, 65 P, 5.6 PS: 1969   

Grant played 22 Games the year before with Montreal, where he was a member of the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup Championship Team. He did not exceed rookie limits, thus was able for the Calder in 1969, though he was now a Minnesota North Star, as the Hans had traded him.  With this Calder win, Grant was the first Calder winner from an Expansion Team. Grant would go on to play in three All-Star Games, scoring 536 Points in a career that also extended to Detroit and Los Angeles.  

Eligible since 1982.  Unranked on

Steve Vickers, New York Rangers, Left Wing: 30 G, 23 A, 53 P, 5.9 PS: 1973        

Vickers played his entire NHL career with the New York Rangers, and had at least 30 Goals in his first four seasons.  Two seasons after his Calder Trophy win, Vickers was a Second Team All-Star, and would score 586 career Points over a ten-year career.  

Eligible since 1985.  Ranked #247 on

Eric Vail, Atlanta Flames, Left Wing: 39 G, 21 A, 60 P, 6.1 PS: 1975   

In between the Calder wins of Hall of Famers, Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier was Eric Vail, the first of two Calder winners when the Flames were located in Atlanta.  Vail had a decent career with three 60-plus Point years in his career that generated 476 Points.    

Eligible since 1985.  Unranked on

Willi Plett, Atlanta Flames, Right Wing: 33 G, 23 A, 66 P, 4.8 PS: 1977       

Plett became the second Atlanta Flame, and also the second Flame to earn the Calder in between future Islanders Hall of Famers (Trottier and Mike Bossy).  While Plett went on to score a respectable 437 Points in the NHL, he would be known more for his pugilistic skills, amassing 2,570 Penalty Minutes.    

Eligible since 1991.  Unranked on

Bobby Smith, Minnesota North Stars, Centre: 30 G, 44 A, 74 P, 5.0 PS: 1979       

A four-time All-Star, Smith had a good career, peaking with a 114-Point year in 1981-82.  The Centre had nine 70-plus years and would have a Stanley Cup win with the Montreal Canadiens in 1996.  Smith had 1,036 career Points in 1,077 Games.    

Eligible since 1985.  Ranked #31 on

Steve Larmer, Chicago Blackhawks, Right Wing: 43 G, 47 A, 90 P, 8.4 PS: 1983   

Larmer was with Chicago for all but his last two seasons, and the Right Wing would tie or exceed his 90 Point rookie year total tice more and from 1982/83 to 1992/93 he would also have at least 70 Points. Larmer accumulated 1,012 Points.

Eligible since 1998.  Ranked #32 on

Tom Barrasso, Buffalo Sabres, Goalie: 26-12-3 Record, 7.5 PS: 1984   

Barrasso had a phenomenal rookie campaign where he not only won the Calder, he was a Vezina winner and First Team All-Star. The American Goalie was a Second Team All-Star and a William M. Jennings winner in his second season, and he was only 20!   Barrasso had a long career afterward, though he was never again won a Vezina. Barrasso would win two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, and he was also a Second Team All-Star there.  The Goalie also played for Ottawa, Carolina, Toronto and St. Louis and he had a career record of 369-277-86.   

Eligible since 2006.  Ranked #18 on

Gary Suter, Calgary Flames, Defense: 18 G, 50 A, 68 P, 8.0 PS: 1986  

Gary Suter was the first of two Calgary Flames to win the Calder in the 1980s (the other being Joe Nieuwendyk) and he was the first American blueliner to win the trophy.  Suter helped Calgary win the Stanley Cup in 1989, and the year before he was a Second Team All-Star.  Suter also played with Chicago and San Jose, and he would have 844 Points over his 17 NHL seasons.

Eligible since 2005.  Ranked #35 on

Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators, Right Wing: 26 G, 35 A, 61 P, 5.3 PS: 1996  

Daniel Alfredsson was the first Calder winner for the Ottawa Senators, and is safe to say that he was the best player in the team’s resurrection.  Alfredsson was a Second Team All-Star in 2005/06, and he would also win the King Clancy and Mark Messier Leadership Award.  With the exception of his final season in Detroit, Alfredsson was a career Senator and he scored 1,157 Points in his career.

Eligible since 2017.  Ranked #5 on

Bryan Berard, New York Islanders, Defense: 8 G, 40 A, 48 P, 7.6 PS: 1997   

Berard played ten years in the NHL, which was incredible considering he almost lost an eye early in his career.  That injury occurred early in his career, and impeded what could have been a great career.  Still, the Defenseman had 323 career Points and won the Bill Masterton Award in 2004.

Eligible since 2011.   Unranked on

Sergei Samsonov, Boston Bruins, Left Wing: 22 G, 25 A, 47 P, 5.5 PS: 1998         

From Moscow, Samsonov never ascended to superstar status, but this was a really good player for a long time.  The Left Wing played for Boston, Edmonton, Montreal. Chicago, Carolina and Florida and scored a respectable 571 career Points.

Eligible since 2014.  Ranked #282 on

Chris Drury, Colorado Avalanche, Centre: 20 G, 24 A, 44 P, 5.0 PS: 1999    

Two years after he won the Calder, Drury helped the Avalanche win their second NBA Title.  Drury was a good two-way player, and he also played for Buffalo and the New York Rangers over a 615-Point career.

Eligible since 2014.  Ranked #296 on

Scott Gomez, New Jersey Devils, Centre: 19 G, 51 A, 70 P, 7.3 PS: 2000     

Gomez would win the Stanley Cup as a rookie, and again in 2003, both of which with the New Jersey Devils.  The Alaskan would also play for the Rangers, Montreal, San Jose, Florida, St. Louis and Ottawa with 655 career Points.

Eligible since 2019.  Ranked #249 on

Evegeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks, Goalie: 32-21-7 Record, 11.7 PS: 2001

Nabokov became the first San Jose Shark and the first Russian Goalie to win the Calder.  Nabokov was a First Team All-Star in 2008, and would have a career record of 353-227-86 in a career mostly with San Jose.

Eligible since 2018.  Ranked #122 on

Dany Heatley, Atlanta Thrashers, Right Wing: 26 G, 41 A, 67 P, 6.8 PS: 2002      

Heatley will go down in history as the only Atlanta Thrasher to win the Calder.  He was the driver in an accident that killed his teammate, and needing a change of scenery, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators where he a one-time First Team and Second Team All-Star.  Heatley also played for San Jose, Minnesota and Anaheim and had 791 Points.

Eligible since 2018.  Ranked #108 on

Barrett Jackman, St. Louis Blues, Defense: 3 G, 16 A, 19 P, 5.4 PS: 2003    

The Calder Trophy would be the only award that Jackman would win, or even receive a vote for, but this was stay-at-home defenseman who knew his role and did it well.  The Defenseman played 13 years with the Blues, and one final one with Nashville.

Eligible since 2019.  Unrankedon

Andrew Raycroft, Boston Bruins, Goalie: 29-18-9 Record, 2.05 GAA, 12.6 PS: 2004      

This was the best season of Raycroft’s career, and he only ever had one good year again, which was when he was with Toronto. Raycroft also played for Colorado, Vancouver and Dallas, and had a record of 113-114-27 upon retirement.

Eligible since 2015.  Unrankedon

Let’s update our tally, shall we?        

Award in Question

Percentage of recipients who have entered the HOF

Percentage of recipients by year who have entered the HOF.




NHL Art Ross



NBA Finals MVP



NHL Norris



NBA All-Star Game MVP



NHL Conn Smythe



NFL Bert Bell Award



NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year






NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year



NHL Lady Byng



NFL Defensive Player of the Year



NFL Super Bowl MVP



NBA Defensive Player of the Year



NHL Vezina



NBA Rookie of the Year






NFL Pro Bowl MVP



MLB Lou Gehrig Award



MLB Roberto Clemente Award



NHL Calder Trophy



NBA J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award



MLB/NL/AL Cy Young Award



MLB Babe Ruth Award



NHL King Clancy Award



NHL Frank J. Selke Trophy



MLB World Series MVP



MLB Hutch Award



NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year



NHL Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy



MLB Edgar Martinez Award



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Designated Hitter)



MLB Comeback Player of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Shortstop)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove



NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Catcher)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Second Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Shortstop)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Pitcher)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Second Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Outfield)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Outfield)



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Third Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Third Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (First Base)



MLB (NL/AL) Rookie of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Catcher)



NBA Most Improved Player of the Year



MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (First Base)



NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year



So, who is up next?

The following are the players who have won the Calder Trophy in the NHL who have retired but have not met the mandatory years out of the game to qualify for the Hockey Hall of Fame:

Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets, 33-20-7 Record, 2.29 GAA, 11.2 GPS, 2009

In his rookie season, Mason was a Second Team All-Star, was the runner-up for the Vezina and was fourth in Hart voting. Mason never replicated that year, but did have a ten-year run where he also played for Philadelphia and Winnipeg. He retired with a career record of 205-183-64.

Eligible in 2021.

The following are the players who have won the Calder Trophy who are still active.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, Centre: 52 G, 54 A, 106 P, 12.7 PS 2006

The Russian is easily the best European star of his generation and he was a First Team All-Star as a rookie.  Since that time, he has been a First Team All-Star five times and won the Hart three times.  The future Hall of Famer took the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup in 2018.

34 Years Old,Playing for the Washington Capitals.

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, Centre: 52 G, 54 A, 106 P, 12.7 PS 2007

Malkin was the second Russian Centre to win the Calder in a row, and how fitting is that Malkin played for Pittsburgh, a rival of Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals.  Since his Calder win, Malkin has won three Stanley Cups, a Hart and two Art Ross Trophies.  He is already a member of the 1,000 Point club.

33 Years Old,Playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks, Right Wing: 21 G, 51 A, 72 P, 7.2 PS, 2008

Since his Calder win, Kane won the Hart Trophy and led Chicago to three Stanley Cups.  Kane is already a member of the 1,000 Point Club, has three First Team All-Stars, and an Art Ross Trophy on his mantle.

32 Years Old,Playing for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres, Defense: 11 G, 37 A, 48 P, 9.8 PS, 2010

After that good rookie year, Myers has yet to replicate that success and his 48 Points and 9.8 Point Shares remain career-highs.

30 Years Old,Playing for the Vancouver Canucks.

Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes, Left Wing: 31 G, 32 A, 63 P, 8.1 PS, 2011

Jeff Skinner has matched his rookie output of 63 Points twice but has yet to exceed it.

28 Years Old,Playing for the Buffalo Sabres.

Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche, Left Wing: 22 G, 30 A, 52 P, 6.8 PS, 2012

Gabriel Landeskog has had a good career thus far that has been spent entirely with the Avalanche.  He has had six 50-plus Point years, but nothing higher than 75 Points.

28 Years Old,Playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers, Center: 14 G, 17 A, 31 P, 3.3 PS, 2013

Jonathan Huberdeau is the first Panther to win the Calder and he was an All-Star in 2020.

27 Years Old,Playing for the Florida Panthers.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche, Center: 24 G, 39 A, 63 P, 7.7 PS, 2014

Since his Calder season, MacKinnon went on a current three-year 90-Point streak.  He was an All-Star in 2002, and was the runner-up for the Hart in 2018.

25 Years Old,Playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers, Defense: 12 G, 27 A, 39 P, 8.5 PS, 2015

Aaron Ekblad became the second Florida Panther in three seasons to win the Calder.  He has participated in two All-Star Games since.

24 Years Old,Playing for the Florida Panthers.

Artemi Panerin, Chicago Blackhawks, Left Wing: 30 G, 47 A, 77 P, 9.8 PS, 2016

Following his rookie year, Panerin was a Second Team All-Star and is coming off of a 95 Point season in his first year in New York.

29 Years Old,Playing for the New York Rangers.

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs, Center: 40 G, 29 A, 69 P, 9.7 PS, 2017

In Matthews’ rookie year, his 32 Even-Strength Goals led the NHL. He would do so again with 35 in 2019-20.

22 Years Old,Playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Matthew Barzal, New York Islanders, Center: 22 G, 63 A, 85 P, 8.2 PS, 2018

Barzal’s Calder Trophy winning season is to date his best in his young NHL career.

23 Years Old,Playing for the New York Islanders.

Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks, Center: 28 G, 38 A, 66 P, 7.8 PS, 2019

Pettersson has been with the Canucks for two seasons and played in the All-Star Game in both years.

22 Years Old,Playing for the Vancouver Canucks.

Doesn’t it feel like the Calder means more than other league Rookies of the Year?

For the most part, winning the Calder reflects a great player, especially in the second half of this awards existence.

So, what is up next?

We stay with the NHL and look at the most important individual award in the NHL. The Hart Trophy.

As always, we thank you for your support, and look for that soon.

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Committee Chairman

Kirk Buchner, "The Committee Chairman", is the owner and operator of the site.  Kirk can be contacted at [email protected] .

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