25 Worst award snubs in NHL history: 20. Henrik Zetterberg Calder Trophy 2003
When looking at the Calder Trophy this century, there are a lot of memorable names on the list. Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Auston Matthews, and Cale Makar are all superstars in this league. There are some names on the list that didn’t exactly get to that superstar level. Jeff Skinner is a good player, but he has the worst contract in the NHL. Tyler Myers is a big defenseman who got paid, but the Vancouver Canucks regret it. Still, the weirdest name on the list is Barret Jackman.
To be fair to Jackman, he had a really good rookie season, but was he better than Henrik Zetterberg? In his first season, Zetterberg was playing everywhere. He had power-play time, penalty kill time, and he immediately fit in with a star-studded Detroit Red Wings team. He had 44 points on the season, but it was his 22 goals, with 16 coming at even strength, that had him in the conversation.
Zetterberg was doing the most was the time he was given. He immediately made an impact with a Red Wings team that was looking to make strides towards a championship.
This was a situation where the voters still had that “old school” mentality where they valued perceived shutdown defenders over what Zetterberg did as a shutdown forward. Both Zetterberg and Jackman had a huge impact on the ice, but Zetterberg was also providing direct scoring. Jackman only had 18 points on the season despite having a lot of talent on that Blues team. The Blues lost Chris Pronger for most of the season, so Jackman had that going for him. Still, Zetterberg deserved to win Rookie of the Year.