Rookie Rankings: Saad rises

Chicago forward climbs the rankings; Huberdeau falls to No. 3

Originally Published: April 9, 2013
By Grant Sonier | ESPN Insider
Brandon SaadKirk Irwin/Getty ImagesBrandon Saad has played well recently for the Chicago Blackhawks.

With less than three weeks remaining in the shortened NHL season, a lot of things are up for grabs -- including the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher holds on to his top billing as this year's potential award winner, but there continues to be a serious charge from behind by Chicago's Brandon Saad who is near the top in all statistical categories and is playing some of his best hockey.

Here's a look at how things shape up this week (statistics are through April 7).

1. Brendan Gallagher, forward, Montreal Canadiens
Previous rank: No. 1

Early on, much of the talk for the Calder Trophy was centered on very high-profile rookies entering this season. When watching Gallagher, a former fifth-round pick play, you can't help but respect the fact that he has always overcome the odds. He's third in overall scoring (just two goals behind the leader), has three game-winning goals and is an impressive plus-9. It all adds up to him potentially winning the prestigious rookie award. One pro scout recently said, "When you watch the Canadiens play now it is common place to see this kid do special things." Standing 5-foot-9 has not stopped Gallagher from playing big.


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