Rookie Update: Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog, Henrique
(4/2/12) With a week left in the season, the battle for the rookie scoring lead is down to a three-horse race. At the top of the leader board, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sits tied with Gabriel Landeskog at 51 points, while Adam Henrique is one point back at 50. Nugent-Hopkins and Henrique have a game at hand on Landeskog, as they each have three starts remaining to Landeskog's two, so our money's on the Nuge to take the crown - he has 10-points in his last ten games. Landeskog has been playing incredibly well, with 25 points in 29 games since the All-star break, but playing one less game puts him behind the eight-ball. Henrique is hanging right there himself, with 4-points in his last five starts, but he went five straight games without a point before that, and we have to think the other two will find a higher gear.
As for who will win the Calder trophy, considering Landeskog has played a full season, and considering he's played so well in the second half, we believe he'll be the favorite with the voters. A case can certainly be made for Nugent-Hopkins, but the fact that he missed a quarter of the season will probably be his downfall.
Looking further down the list, we see a couple of players we like a lot as sleepers for playoff pools. In particular, Matt Read of the Flyers (7 points in his last 10), and Carl Hagelin of the Rangers (only 5 points in his last 10, but 15 in his last 20) are a pair of guys who could make a real impact in the postseason. Keep their names in mind on draft night.