Chicago Blackhawks G Antti Niemi A Top Rookie

December 24th, 2009 by TAB BAMFORD Leave a reply »
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Two years ago, Patrick Kane was named the top rookie in the NHL, bringing home the prestigious Calder Trophy. The runner-up to Kane that year was Jonathan Toews.

Last year, Kris Versteeg was a finalist for the award.

And now, after another sterling performance on Wednesday night, Antti Niemi’s stat sheet is starting to look too good to stay off the ice. Unfortunately, because he was born a little more than two weeks before the NHL's age cutoff for the Calder Trophy, Niemi isn't eligible for the award this year. But that doesn't change his status as one of, if not the top rookie in the NHL.

Niemi has only started nine games (appearing in 10, coming in to get the win in the memorable five-goal comeback against Calgary), but his record is now 8-1-1 to begin his NHL career. His 1.59 goals against average would be well below the rest of the qualifying goaltenders in the NHL this year, and his .937 save percentage would also rank near the top of the league. Already, Niemi’s four shut outs are good for second in the NHL.

Last year, Versteeg los ...

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