Calder Watch: Top rookie goalies and prospects 

December, 2, 2009

On Tuesday, Jeff from Washington D.C. called me out about not including Caps' kid goalie Semyon Varlamov in my most recent Calder ratings. While I remain comfortable with last Wednesday's top five rankings, I thought I should offer my thoughts on Varlamov and the other key rookie goaltenders. So here's a look at the five rookie goalies who have played enough games to matter in the first two months of the season.

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (7-2-2, 2.02 GAA, .929 SP)
The 22-year-old Finn had the net for six straight games in mid-November while starter Tim Thomas recovered from a hand injury. In those half-dozen starts, Rask went a very solid 4-1-1, surrendering just 11 goals. The Bruins acquired their goalie of the future in a deal with the Leafs, who drafted Rask in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005 draft. I really like Rask's upside. I suspect he'll challenge Thomas for the starting job sooner (maybe next season) than you might expect.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.