by PuckStopsHere on 05/04/10 at 12:20 PM ET
At season’s end, I picked Jimmy Howard as the Calder Trophy winner, wich Tuukka Rask also a nominee. The NHL chose to overlook Rask in the actual nominations because despite his leading Boston in goaltender games played and despite his leading the NHL in both goals against average and in saves percentage, he hadn’t played in enough games. Despite the fact Howard had a better rookie season, largely due to more games played, I think it is a safe bet that Tuukka Rask will be the better goalie.
Rask is about three years younger and is thus further along in his development at a common age. Rask put up better numbers at 22/23 than Howard did at 25/26 (although with fewer games) and is continuing to be the better of the two in the playoffs.
There often is a disconnect in Calder Trophy voting between picking the best player in his rookie season and the rookie who looks most likely to be a bigger star in the future. Younger players are more likely to develop further than older rookies.
The best rookie of last year’s crop was Steve Mason. He won the Calder Trophy. However, I think it is clear that Steve Stamkos will have the best career of last year’s rookie crop. That was reasonably predictable last year as a younger Stamkos finished the season well after a slow start. This year, many people favor Tyler Myers as rookie of the year (though I pick Howard). There is a good chance that Myers could have the best career of this year’s rookie crop (but do not count out John Tavares). Among the goalies, Jimmy Howard definitely had a better rookie season than Tuukka Rask, but it is a good bet that Rask has the better career.
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