By Allan Muir
Jonas Brodin was wronged in the voting for the Calder Trophy. Flat out wronged.
The league’s youngest defenseman, he was a steady and reliable minute-muncher for the Wild, leading all rookies in total time on ice (1,044:35) and average time on ice (23:12). You could make a pretty good argument that no first-year player came close to matching his impact. And yet Brodin somehow didn’t rank among the top-three vote getters when the ballots of the PHWA were counted. Crazy.
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
At least the league recognized what Brodin the writers didn’t. The NHL announced today that the 19-year-old was among the six players named to the annual All-Rookie Team.
Brodin’s real value was illustrated not just in the quantity of ice time, but the quality of opponents he faced. Playing alongside Ryan Suter, he consistently lined up against the most dangerous forwards the West had to offer. He responded with the kind of smart, mature hockey that ultimately justified all those minutes and helped guide the Wild back into the postseason.
The ART isn’t the Calder, but it’s good to see Brodin’s season receive some acknowledgement.
Joining Brodin on defense was Justin Schultz. The 22-year-old Oiler led first-year defensemen in goals (8), assists (19) and points (27), power-play assists (11) and power-play points (15).
Calder winner Jonathan Huberdeau and finalists Brendan Gallagher and Brandon Saad were honored as the All-Rookie forwards. Huberdeau played in all 48 games for Florida and ranked second both on the team and among NHL rookies with 31 points (14-17–31), and set a franchise record for most points by a teenager. Montreal’s Gallagher, 21, ranked second among rookies with 15 goals and fourth with 28 points and tied for first with three game-winning goals. Saad, 20, topped the rookie charts with a plus-17 rating, including a plus-12 rating on the road,and ranked fifth in goals (10), assists (17) and points (27) on the way to a Stanley Cup win with the Blackhawks.
St. Louis’ Jake Allen was named as the team’s goalie after the 22-year-old won eight of his first nine decisions and led rookie goaltenders in wins (9), GAA (2.46) and save percentage (.905).