When you look at pure impact, Shayne Gostisbehere is right up there with the best rookies in the NHL so far this season.
The Philadelphia Inquirer brings up a fascinating question, even if it’s a far-flung concept: could he be the first player to win the Calder as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers?
The problem is in the name: he hasn’t been “here,” in the NHL, that long.
Just look at the top scorers among rookies. At a first glance, coming in at 12th overall seems to make his case laughable; Gostisbehere’s 19 points are a far cry from Artemi Panarin‘s rookie-leading 45.
Still, it’s resounding what he’s accomplished for the Flyers, especially in a short time.
In 27 games, he has three game-winning goals, all in overtime. His 10 power-play points ties him with Max Domi for third place among rookies.
It’s not on voters to penalize other rookies for playing in far more games, but Gostisbehere’s per-game impact really stands out. There are only two first-year players who’ve played in 10+ games who have more each night than Ghost’s .70 per game: Connor McDavid (.92) and Panarin (.88).
Like any good difference-maker, he’s generating a rave review quote from an opposing player, via the Inquirer:
“His shot … he’s got a bomb,” Kris Letang said. “For a young guy to come into the league and manage a power play with that much talent on it, it’s impressive.”
No doubt about it, “Ghost” is a long shot to win the Calder … or even be a finalist. Perhaps he should get a little more consideration, however, and that’s especially true if he keeps up this pace through the rest of the season.