NHL Sophomore Surge

Rahul Patel, Staff Writer

Everyone knew Thomas Chabot was talented. He was receiving high praise, considered among a handful of the very best NHL prospects in the world, before he stepped foot on the ice with the Ottawa Senators. But no one could have expected his rise to be this steep. During his rookie season, Chabot was a consistent point – producer who flashed moments of brilliance. And despite some time in the AHL, by the time the season came to a close he was a featured player on the Senators blueline, not to mention a nine-goal scorer with 25 points to his name.

Through 28 games, Chabot has been a beast. His seven goals and 31 points are tied for tops among all defensemen in the NHL. He’s skating upwards of 24 minutes per game and while he’s not about to make anyone forget about Erik Karlsson, Chabot is certainly easing the pain. Chabot probably won’t win the Norris Trophy this season despite his incredible play and offensive output, but it’s starting to seem like it might only be a matter of time before the Senators have another young, offensively gifted Norris winner on their hands.

But Chabot isn’t the only second-year player turning heads. Throughout the league, a number of sophomore skaters have continued to score like they did last season. That includes Mat Barzal and Clayton Keller, two of the top-three in Calder Trophy voting last season, who have continued to be offensive drivers for their clubs.