See which 2014 draftees project to be fan­tasy-rel­e­vant this year

The Hockey News – Ultimate Pool Guide - - Opening Faceoff - BY KEN CAMP­BELL

HE STILL HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO, BUT TAN­NER PEAR-son of the Los Angeles Kings has a chance to do some­thing that hasn’t been ac­com­plished in more than four decades. He’ll have to win the Calder Tro­phy to do it, an achiev­able ob­jec­tive since he’ll likely be play­ing next sea­son with Je Carter and Tyler Tof­foli on ‘That 70s line.’

Not since Hall of Famer Ken Dryden, who won the Stan­ley Cup with the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens in 1971 and then was named rookie of the year in 1972, has a player had his name en­graved on the Cup be­fore win­ning the Calder Tro­phy. The only three other play­ers to ac­com­plish the feat were Gaye Ste­wart (Cup in 1942 and Calder in ’43 with the Toronto Maple Leafs), Danny Grant (Cup in 1968 with the Cana­di­ens and Calder in ’69 with the Min­nesota North Stars) and Tony Es­pos­ito (Cup in 1969 with the Cana­di­ens and Calder in ’70 with the Chicago Black Hawks). Ste­wart, Grant and Es­pos­ito were all spare parts in their teams’ Cup runs, while Dryden was a stal­wart, win­ning the Conn Smythe Tro­phy.

Pear­son wasn’t that good for the Kings, but he was ter­rific at times. He worked his way into the top six on the line with Carter and Tof­foli. And al­though he didn’t earn a point in the Stan­ley Cup fi­nal, you’d have been hard pressed to find a bet­ter player on the ice than Pear­son was in Game 4 when he was a beast in the o en­sive zone and had at least twice as many shots as any other player on ei­ther team with eight.

Pear­son will have some sti com­pe­ti­tion for the Calder, but if he stays healthy and keeps play­ing in the Kings’ top six, there’s no rea­son not to ex­pect sig­nif­i­cant pro­duc­tion from him this sea­son. Here are the top o en­sive rook­ies to watch in 2014-15.


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