by PuckStopsHere on 12/28/13 at 09:03 PM ET
Only six days ago, I wrote about Francois Beauchemin of the Anaheim Ducks holding down the top +/- rating in the NHL. He has been passed by his linemate. Hampus Lindholm the Swedish rookie now has a +22 +/- rating. This puts him one point ahead of Beauchemin. Lindholm is a highly regarded prospect who was selected sixth overall in the 2012 entry draft. He has pushed himself into the Calder trophy race with his defensive play. Lindholm has been the best defensive playing rookie so far this year. I currently pick Torey Krug of Boston as the Calder Trophy leader. He is another rookie defenceman who made an impact at an earlier point in the season. Krug leads rookie defencemen in points and is not too far back from the overall rookie point lead - thanks in part to Tomas Hertl of San Jose being injured.
While it is easy to read a lot into Lindholm having the best +/- in the NHL, we must be aware that he has many circumstances in his favor. He plays on a top team in Anaheim alongside a proven top defenceman in Beauchemin. He has been somewhat protected from the toughest situations as he has been held back at times as a rookie.
Hampus Lindholm may wind up winning the Calder Trophy. This is especially likely if no rookie scoring stars emerge this season. He will find it difficult unless he puts up some offensive numbers as well - voters are more likely to notice offensive numbers. Right now he is one of the top contenders in the league for rookie of the year.
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