10 Calder Trophy candidates heading into the 2022-23 NHL regular season

September 3, 2022  (6:21 PM)

At the beginning of each NHL season the experts predict who may be a standout, or breakout player and which players might be voted as candidates for the NHL's respective individual awards.

I'm going to do just that, predicting who amongst the crop of rookies set to take their first strides in the NHL. The list is subjective, so it's not meant to spark an argument, but rather to debate about potential Calder Trophy candidates come season's end. Breaking it down to just ten is an admittedly tall task, so there will be a category labelled ‘In The Mix', which will include seven additional NHL rookies.
The list is in no particular order, so numbers for each player's respective spot will not be included, instead each player will just be listed with one paragraph worth of facts, information and scout comments about their skillset and such.
Alexander Holtz - Heading into the 2021 NHL Draft, Holts and fellow Swede Lucas Raymonds were touted as two NHL quality talents - Raymond is the playmaker, who possesses a lethal shot and high-level playmaking ability, standing at 5'10» tall and Holtz is the shooter, who employs a deadly shot, and has the knack for getting lost in the offensive zone, before making opponents pay with a pinpoint one-timer, he stands at 6'0» even, weighing 194 lbs.
Holtz has the tangibles and skillset to fit in great with Hughes, Hischier, Mercer and the rest of the New Jersey Devils young talent, painting a bright future in Newark, New Jersey.
While Holtz shot is certainly a crucial part to his game, he is no slouch when dishing the puck to teammates, to create scoring chances, he uses his skating and strong passing game to provide a constant threat to score while in the offensive zone. The Devils selected Holtz with the seventh overall pick.
Marco Rossi - The Austria native tore up the OHL during his time with the Ottawa 67's, forming a formidable duo alongside Buffalo Sabres prospect Jack Quinn, Rossi was the very adept centreman, playmaker and Quinn was the tee man, and a pretty good one at that, together the pair were lethal.
Rossi suited up for 109 games, over two seasons with the 67's, during his time in the OHL, Rossi scored 68 goals, 117 assists for 185 points. While his frame isn't the biggest at 5'9» tall, he has a strong lower body and core which allows Rossi to thrive at the pro level, which he proved last year in the AHL with the Iowa Wild, playing 63 games, scoring 18 goals, 35 assists for 53 points.
The Minnesota Wild selected Rossi with the ninth overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, and surely he'll fit in nicely with the likes of Kaprizov, Boldy and the rest of the Minnesota Wild core, including 2022 number 19 overall draft selection Liam Ohgren, and number 24 overall pick Danila Yurov.
Rossi's motor and high hockey IQ are two significant parts of his game, paired with elite skating and a heavy, accurate shot, Rossi has the tools to be a staple in the Wild's top six for years to come.
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