Barring something unforeseen, New York Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal is starting to look like he’ll run away with the Calder Trophy this year. With 62 points in 61 games so far, he leads all rookies by 12 points and ranks 16th overall in the NHL. He is just the latest example of a first-year player raising the bar for our expectations of what is possible for rookies.
The influx of budding stars is making for a more entertaining product on the ice. Barzal is absolutely the kind of player who you want to pay to watch. Even if he was just doing laps in an empty arena, you could probably charge for to see him impress.