Derek Stepan: Debuting with an opening night hat trick wasn't exactly an omen of things to come because he needed nearly six weeks to score again. Still a 20-goal rookie campaign is nothing to sneeze at. Stepan has eased into his role as a versatile center by coach John Tortorella, spending most of his time on second or third lines, but playing comfortably on the top unit when injuries or circumstances have dictated.
...nice to see Stepan getting some respect around the league. 20 goals during a rookie campaign is very impressive.
...how is Sauer & McD not on this list?
Sauer and McD aren't on the list because they're not putting up points. They're playing very solid D, but that doesn't make the wiggle stick dance. It's unfortunate, but that's just the way it goes. MDZ last season is a perfect example - guy is sporting a -130, but he's included in the Calder discussion on virtue of his early season points explosion when we all thought he was Leetch's second coming.
@evantonio Agreed. Which is a shame. Those two deserve the recognition.