By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
Flyers have a fairly decent record with successful rookies, yet somehow no Flyer has ever won the Calder Trophy. In just about every case, a Flyer seemed to have it in the bag but was outshined by another rookie elsewhere in the league.
This week I’ll rank the top Flyers rookies to never win the Calder Trophy.
Number 5- Ivan Provorov
The most recent rookie on this list, Ivan Provorov had a great debut season, though did so under the radar. with mega stars Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine dominating the statistical columns, Provorov didn’t stand a chance. With six goals and 30 points in 82 games, most of his hype came from his hockey IQ and superior defensive play. Provorov earned the Flyers Barry Ashbee Award for the teams best defenseman, and I have a feeling that’s not the last award he will win in his career. Provorov’s play may not have turned many heads outside of the Flyer faithful, but it’s almost a guarantee the league will have to take notice of the young Russian in the near future.
Number 4- Shayne Gostisbehere
Opposite to Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere put the entire league on notice when he made his debut. Making his full-time NHL debut in November of the 2015-16 season he recorded his first NHL point in his first game of the season. He proceeded to break the NHL rookie point streak at 15 games, and became the first rookie to record four overtime goals in a season. Ghost ultimately finished the season 2nd in Calder voting, finishing behind the controversial Artemi Panarin.
Number 3- Eric Lindros
Ah, Eric Lindros, a complete public relations nightmare in his junior career as well as his early NHL career. Sitting out his first year in the OHL as he did not want to play for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. When the NHL entry draft came around, he was taken first overall by the Quebec Nordiques and, again, refused to play for them. He was traded to Philadelphia in a blockbuster trade the following season, recording 41 goals and 75 points in 60 games. An impressive showing for Lindros, as his combination of size and skill dominated the NHL. It wasn’t a good enough showing to earn him the Calder Trophy though, as Teemu Selanne debuted the same season with a whopping 76 goals and 132 points.
Number 2- Brian Propp
Brian Propp burst onto the scene in 1979 and immediately made an impact, scoring the game winning goal in his first NHL game. His solid rookie season helped the Flyers advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, eventually losing to the Islanders. He finished his rookie season with 34 goals and 75 points. Propp lost the Calder vote to superstar defenseman Ray Bourque.
Number 1- Mikael Renberg
Mikael Renberg made an immediate splash his rookie season, spending most of his season with elite company on a line with Eric Lindros and Mark Recchi. He also spent time with Rod Brind’Amour, Pelle Eklund, and Kevin Dineen. By seasons end he set a still-standing franchise record for points by a rookie with 38 goals and 82 points. Renberg was yet another case of a great season that was overshadowed by others elsewhere in the league. Finishing third in Calder voting behind Jason Arnott and winner Martin Brodeur.
Photo Credit: NHL.com