It’s expected the Calder Trophy will go to either Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg or Aaron Ekblad. However, there is one more name that we can he thrown into the fire, Mark Stone.
Stone came into the NHL with little fanfare. He wasn’t a top overall pick, nor was he regarded as one of hockey’s best prospects, but this season Stone has proven he is a top-tier NHL talent.
The 2014-15 season wasn’t the first cup of NHL coffee for Stone. He had previously seen action for the team over the previous two seasons, only appearing in 23 games. He tallied eight points during those contests, all of which came during the 2013-14 season.
This year, the 22-year-old forward has scored 57 points through 76 games, a number which places him third amongst all rookies. He also owns an impressive +/- rating of +16, proving he is not only an offensive juggernaut, but a defensive one as well.
Ottawa general manager, Bryan Murray, sensed Stone would become a well-rounded player in the NHL.
“I think we felt very strongly he was going to be a good player. He showed some real good signs. He’s got real good hockey sense. He’s got great hands. We knew that”
Stone is currently playing on the team’s first line with Kyle Turks and Clarke MacArthur, a tandem which has helped Stone record 40 points in 42 games since December 29th. Stone has been one of the key factors in the Senators march to the playoffs. He has been a welcome addition to a young Ottawa squad that also includes fellow promising rookie Mike Hoffman.
So, don’t go casting your votes for Gaudreau and Forsberg just yet, because the race for the Calder is anything but set in stone.