Brock Faber may or may not be able to beat out Connor Bedard for Calder Trophy honors. Bedard participated in the All-Star Skills Competition, though not as a competitor, but he says he feels ready to come back.
When he does, he can extend his lead in the rookie point race, which usually does enough to clinch the Calder Trophy. Faber (and Marco Rossi) have done well in making up some of the gap between themselves and Bedard, but Bedard's 33 points before his injury still gives him a four and five-point lead over Faber and Rossi, respectively.
If Faber (or Rossi) can secure a Calder Trophy, that'd be the second one in franchise history, along with Kirill Kaprizov, who earned it as the best rookie of the shortened 2020-21 season. But if Faber doesn't join Kaprizov as a Calder Winner, he can at least boast one award that Kaprizov never got.
The NHL just named Faber the Rookie of the Month for January, the first winner of the honor in Wild history. Thanks in part to increased power play time, Faber's production exploded in January. His 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 14 games for the month almost doubled his production entering the month (16 points in his first 35 games).
Not only did he lead all rookies in points, but was tied for sixth among NHL defensemen in January. Only Cale Makar, Noah Dobson, Quinn Hughes, Roman Josi, and Victor Hedman had more points throughout the month.
Faber's still an underdog for the Calder, even with Bedard's injury, but a few more months of this will be difficult for voters to ignore.
- Not only is Faber excelling as a rookie, he's doing so with the added pressure of being a hometown kid. Sarah MacLellan has more on Faber and his local roots. [Star Tribune]
- More Faber talk: Is he the team's MVP? Aaron "Hecksie" Heckmann and Dylan Loucks discuss that and more as they hand out the hardware for this Wild team. [The Hockey News]
- You'll get 'em next time, Kap. [The Hockey News]
- Should we hold out some hope of seeing some more first-round playoff games this year? John Shipley is on the case. [Pioneer Press]
- If the Wild are going to compete, Kaprizov has to have people messing with me so he can turn back into the old me. [The Athletic]
- Faber's rise: Good for the Wild, maybe not as good for the Wild's salary cap situation? [Hockey Wilderness]
- Danila Yurov is looking like a game-changing prospect for the Wild. Doubly so if he can play center. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Lastly, let's check in and see what Wild players are doing with their time off. [Hockey Wilderness]
Off the Trail...
- Game on, Zach Parise. [NHL.com]
- The Winnipeg Jets are also loading up for a Stanley Cup run, boosting their depth down the middle with Sean Monahan. It's too bad Minnesota couldn't have possibly been able to start bidding wars for their pending UFAs. [The Globe and Mail]
- Jesse Puljujarvi never works. I mean, teams sometimes delude themselves into thinking that he might, but... it might work for the Pittsburgh Penguins... [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- The coaching changes will continue until morale improves. [Defector]
Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.