What do Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque and Torey Krug all share in common? Not much, yet. But if Krug wins the Calder trophy this season he will join the previously mentioned Bruin legends as Boston defencemen to be honoured as NHL rookie of the year.
Krug exploded onto the mainstream scene in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, a call-up tasked with filling in on a Bruins defence corps that was riddled with injury. Fill in he did, and then some. The 22-year-old native of Livonia, Michigan was a force from the back-end, scoring 4 goals in 5 games against the New York Rangers in the second round.
Offence from the defence is often associated with top teams in the National Hockey League and the Bruins get much of their blueline scoring from Krug who has amassed 6 goals and 6 assists in 19 games this season. Krug’s 6 tallies tie him for second in NHL defenceman scoring with Michael Stone of the Phoenix Coyotes.
It has been a while since the Bruins featured a player with Krug’s skill-set on defence. When they won the Stanley Cup in 2011 GM Peter Chiarelli was inclined to acquire puck-mover Tomas Kaberle to temporarily address the mobility of his defence corps. Kaberle’s stay in Boston was short lived because the Czech defender’s better days were behind him. Krug’s glory days are only just arriving. His ability to skate with the puck is an asset to the B’s. An extra bonus resulting from Krug’s arrival – captain Zdeno Chara has become available to play the front of the net on the Bruins’ power play.
Competition for the Calder is stiff this season.
Sharks shooting sensation Tomas Hertl is running away with the rookie scoring lead – he has 12 goals and 18 points to lead all first year NHLers.
The Bruin rearguard is tied for third in rookie points with Alex Chiasson of the Dallas Stars, Marc Arcobello of the Edmonton Oilers, and 2013 1st overall pick Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.
Krug’s numbers are significant because he’s a defenceman hanging around with forwards in the rookie scoring race.
According to the NHL’s official Twitter account the Calder trophy is Krug’s to lose:
— NHL (@NHL) November 19, 2013
The American blueliner may have a shot at earning himself a place with Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February. The Americans announce their Olympic roster on January 1st, 2014, at the Winter Classic.