Rookie Notes: Landeskog, RNH, and Aliu Who?
(4/8/12) There were a number of races that finished on Saturday night, and that includes the rookie scoring chase. However, instead of one player vaulting into the lead, neither Ryan Nugent-Hopkins nor Gabriel Landeskog recorded a point, meaning both players finish tied for first in rookie scoring with 52. Adam Henrique picked up an assist in the Devils' win over Ottawa, which brings his total up to 51, one shy of a three-way logjam for the rookie scoring the lead. Matt Read finishes with 47 points and the rookie goal scoring title, with 24.
So what does this mean for the Calder Trophy? It's going to come down to the vote and, if the old East v. West argument holds up, Adam Henrique has as good a shot as either of the other two front runners.
Our nod goes to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He's the most talented of the lot, as he played 20 fewer games than Landeskog but recorded the same number of points. Landeskog was hot down the stretch, and he played the whole season, but did he make more of an impact on the league than RNH? It's debatable. If you think yes, we would definitely listen to your perspective.
Another interesting rookie note from the final week of the year: Akim Aliu suited up for the Flames' last 2 games and recorded 3 points, including 2 goals on Saturday. In 40 games with the Abbotsford Heat this year (AHL), he only recorded 10 goals and 14 points, so we aren't sure that Aliu is a big time fantasy prospect. He's bounced between the AHL and ECHL for the past 4 seasons. Remember, Sven Baertschi (drafted 13th overall in 2011) is waiting in the wings (WHL) and could make the big club next year. He had 3 goals over a 3 game span in mid March when the Flames called him up on an emergecy basis. Baertschi is the Flames' top prospect from what we can see.