The 19-year-old Penguins phenom has exceeded any expectations anyone may have had of him coming into the season. Maatta so far has racked up 28 points (9G, 19A), with scoring often coming at key moments. He is +11 on the season and has been a mainstay on the Pens constantly-injured blue line, missing only one game so far as a healthy scratch (knock on wood), while logging heavy minutes (average of over 20 a game), often as part of the top defensive pairing along with Matt Niskanen and on both the powerplay and penalty kill. And that is to say nothing of his Olympic record (2G, 3A, and a bronze medal).
So why isn’t he a front runner for the Calder, the NHL’s annual award for best rookie of the year?