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Anders Lee surging into Calder race

Anders Lee has 18 goals this season, including five in six February games. Mike Stobe/NHLI/Getty Images

For a brief moment on Thursday, New York Islanders rookie Anders Lee caught up to Nashville’s Filip Forsberg for the rookie goal-scoring lead before Forsberg scored against the Jets.

It likely won’t be the last time Lee pushes himself to the top. Forsberg looked like he would run away with the rookie scoring title, but with two goals on Thursday, Lee sent notice that it won’t be easy -- especially if he keeps thriving on the top line next to John Tavares.

Lee now has five goals in February, his most productive month yet, and he’s only six games in. This could be the month he firmly plants himself into Calder Trophy consideration. In the process, he’s also driving up the price of his next contract.

This past summer, the Islanders wisely tried to sign Lee to a two-year contract. Lee just as wisely instead accepted the Islanders' qualifying offer that made him a restricted free agent this upcoming summer. Where the Isles might have had him signed next year for around $1 million, Lee’s bet on himself in accepting the qualifying offer will mean a more lucrative deal after this one expires.

How much more?