The Grind Line: Can Raymond or Seider Win the Calder Trophy?

The season is off to a rip-roaring start, and a pair of Detroit Red Wings rookies is already making their presence felt in the NHL. Forward Lucas Raymond and defenseman Moritz Seider have been extremely impressive since the season has kicked off, and though that’s hardly a surprise to those who have been following their careers to this point, it’s taken the league by storm.

Raymond and Seider are first and second, respectively, in NHL rookie scoring, and have as good a chance as anyone to be the first Detroit player to win the Calder Trophy since Roger Crozier in 1965. So, we ask our panel — will they do it?

Let’s dive in!

Tony Wolak: Seider Szn

Lucas Raymond has been a revelation, but Moritz Seider is going to have a greater impact on the Red Wings over the course of the 2021-22 season. He’s already the go-to guy for power play, penalty kill, and even-strength scenarios. And he’s only a point behind Raymond in the rookie scoring race.

That said, both have a solid chance of winning the Calder Trophy this year, especially with pre-season favorites Cole Caufield and Quinton Byfield in the American Hockey League (AHL), and injured, respectively. At this point, Seider has the advantage – now and moving forward.

Devin Little: Early Calder Favorites

If there is one downside to the Red Wings having these two magnificent rookies on the team, it’s that only one of them can win the Calder Trophy this season. While you have to think that Raymond is the early favorite given his incredible scoring pace through the first tenth of the season, Seider isn’t that far behind due to his own torrid scoring pace (72-point pace as of this writing), as well as how quickly he has ascended to the top of the Red Wings’ defensive depth chart. 

Lucas Raymond, Detroit Red Wings
Lucas Raymond’s scoring pace is crazy right now. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Both players have transformed this team in their own ways. While I anticipate that both players will hit a rough patch at some point due to the league learning and adjusting to their tendencies, I have no doubt that at least one of these two players will be a finalist for the award when all is said and done. The Red Wings are fun to watch this season, and may even be described as “good” depending on your definition, and a lot of that is because of these two special players. I 1000% believe that the Calder Trophy is coming to the Motor City this summer.

Kyle Knopp: Euro Twins, Part Deux?

Wings fans haven’t been this excited about a pair of young players since Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg began donning the Winged Wheel together in the lineup. While the pair of Seider and Raymond have a different dynamic, being a winger and defenseman instead of a center and winger, the electricity of having both players on the team is extremely palpable this season. However, as all my other linemates have mentioned, this award is only eligible to one rookie per season, and once both players hit the 25-game mark, they will only have this season to take home the hardware. 

Pavel Datsyuk, KHL, Detroit Red Wings, SKA St. Petersburg
Recent rookie play has reminded Kyle of some all-time great Red Wings. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If both players can keep up the tremendous pace in which they have started this season, we are going to have a lot of fun down the stretch speculating who should end up with the award. Although that is very unlikely to happen, it is exciting to think about as a Wings fan. With that said, I think my early nod would go to Raymond, since forwards are generally more inclined to win the Calder. A defenseman hasn’t won the award since Aaron Ekblad did so in 2015, as an 18-year-old, scoring 25 fewer points than Mark Stone (22 years old) and Johnny Gaudreau (21), who finished second and third in voting, respectively. Therefore, as much as I want Seider to hear his name called this summer, my guess is he will finish second to a very impressive Calder season put together by Lucas Raymond!

Jeff Middleton: Raymond FTW

Having two young kids tear up the league is fun, and Red Wings fans get to see it first hand. Raymond and Seider are both impressive in their own rights. They’re threats with and without the puck, and their minds work incredibly fast for players at a young age. They’ve started the season off with a bang and are some of the leaders in points on the team. Unfortunately, only one player can win the Calder Trophy, and that means only one of them can come out on top. 

Related: Red Wings’ Raymond is Proving What He Can Bring to the Franchise

I’ve written pieces on both players for various reasons. They’re both extremely impressive. However, if I were to give the Calder to one of them it would be Raymond. He is currently tied for the team lead in points, and his offensive play is far better than Seider’s is by the analytics. That’s not to say Seider has been bad by any means (even though his even-strength offensive analytics would suggest he has been below average), but just that Raymond has been the better of the two. Of course, the big German defenseman could turn it on and wrack up some goals in the near future and it would be a different discussion. But, until that time comes, I have to go with the Swedish forward.

Pat Brown: Raymond Now, Seider Later

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to believe both Raymond and Seider will be named as Calder Trophy finalists together, a clear indication that the Red Wings are trending in the right direction. Much like what Tony said, I believe that Seider will ultimately have a bigger impact on the organization moving forward, however, if Raymond can continue to score for a team that has struggled the past few years on offense, he’ll be a no-brainer for the award.

Moritz Seider Detroit Red Wings
Moritz Seider will likely earn a lot of hardware when it’s all said and done. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

What’s most impressive is how quickly Raymond adjusted to the NHL. In just 34 Swedish Hockey League games last season he recorded 18 points, and while that’s impressive in one of the world’s best leagues, there wasn’t any expectation of that success translating into the NHL so quickly. Given that, I think the 19-year-old Raymond holds a slight edge over the 20-year-old Seider to take home the hardware this season, but that said, I hope the latter is preparing his trophy case, because there’s good chance the Norris Trophy will come calling quite a bit in the future.

Do you think Raymond or Seider will take home the Calder Trophy this season? Sound off in the comments below!

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