He has looked great so far. :bt
John Tavares. Victor Hedman. Ville Leino. Semyon Varlamov.
The Calder race is the most difficult trophy chase to predict because out-of-nowhere stellar performances are common. Bobby Ryan and Drew Doughty had been highly touted prospects coming into last season and while golden world junior goalie Steve Mason is no slouch either, no one thought he’d lead the NHL in shutouts with 10 – not to mention Kris Versteeg’s surprise performance.
It’s guys like Mason, Versteeg and Anisimov who throw this yearly exuberant debate into a speed wobble.
When I was doing my due diligence for a “Fab Freshman” article for our annual Poolbook in the summer, I grabbed the opinions of a couple NHL scouts on which players they thought would impress the most in their inaugural run through The Circuit. Names on the list included Tavares, Nikita Filatov, Cody Hodgson, Matt Gilroy, Colin Wilson and more, but when the name Artem Anisimov came up, there was an underlining pause.
The Rangers prospect is the guy to watch out for.
“Honestly, I think he’s the best of the ones you’ve named so far,” said one scout.