While to many this year’s Calder race looks like a two-man race between Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes, I think Adam Fox does not get nearly as much credit as he deserves for his spectacular season. All three had spectacular seasons, and I don’t think that Fox should win the Calder, but I do think the race is much closer than most people think. In my opinion, the Calder should go to Makar, with Hughes as a close second and Fox right behind him. That may not seem like too much of a hot take, but I think the space between Hughes and Fox is much smaller than people think.
Fox had a fantastic year with 8 goals and 34 assists for 42 points. In most years that’d be the most points for any rookie defenceman, but this year had Makar and Hughes who put up near-record numbers. Makar was almost a point per game with 50 points in 57 games and Hughes led all rookies in points with 53. Fox was also playing behind Trouba and Deangelo while Makar and Hughes were both their team’s number 1 defenceman. He still managed to put up lots of points, while creating lots of chances when on the ice. Makar and Hughes definitely produced more offensively, but if Fox was given the same role and didn’t have an offensive stud like Tony Deangelo in front of him eating up most of the power-play time, he could be in the same realm of points.
Fox is also great defensively. All three of them are underrated defensively and are positives defensively. Fox, while in sheltered minutes, is spectacular defensively and is positive on the penalty kill. He’s also a positive defensively at even strength and should still thrive in a bigger role.
Overall, I think Makar and Hughes rightfully get tons of recognition for their fantastic season, but Fox also deserves much more credit for how well he played.