Calder Trophy Watch: Vladamir Tarasenko captures NHL rookie of the month honors

The Calder Trophy race is going to be bizonkers, to use one of Gary Bettman’s favorite terms.

The leader out of the starting gate: St. Louis Blues winger Vladamir Tarasenko, who captured rookie of the month honors for January from the NHL.

(Well, for part of January. Stupid lockout.)

He had five goals and four assists in seven games last month. From the NHL:

Tarasenko edged Tampa Bay Lightning center Cory Conacher (3-6--9 in six games), Edmonton Oilers center Nail Yakupov (4-1--5 in seven games), Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz (2-3--5 in seven games) and Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk (1-4--5 in six games).

All four of those forwards will be in the Calder mix this season, along with Edmonton Oilers defensemen Justin Schultz (8 games, 5 points, and probably a better shot at the Calder than Yakupov at the moment) and Dougie Hamilton of the Boston Bruins (8 games, 4 points, and perhaps you’ve heard his name once or twice on a National Hockey League telecast).

Stalking the field: Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (8 games, 5 points) and Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher, who isn’t getting the notice that Galchenyuk is, but has been every bit as impactful.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how tight the scoring race will end up being: Tarasenko won the January Rookie of the Month, but Conachar currently leads all rookies in scoring (12 points in 8 games) just four days into the following month.

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