Adam Fantilli could get really hot and win the Calder Trophy
Adam Fantilli was the third overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. He was up against Connor Bedard as the 1-2 punch going into the draft. Leo Carlsson was selected in between them and he would be on this list if he was a bit healthier this season.
Fantilli, however, has been healthy and he's been amazing. So far this year, he's played in 42 games where he's scored 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points.
This also comes with the Columbus Blue Jackets who are horrible. The Blackhawks are bad but at least Luke Richardson is a good coach that knows how good Bedard is.
Fantilli should be leading Blue Jackets not named Johnny Gaudreau in ice time yet he only averages 15:49 per game. He barely even plays in overtime when they get there. Pascal Vincent seems like a bad fit there right now but he was thrown into the fire during training camp because of Mike Babcock.
It is time for Fantilli to take that next step. He has been very good with his limited ice time and it is clear that he is going to be a star in this league.
Right now, his 24 points rank third in the league for rookies and a big run could have him finish on top. It would be nice to see him play more so he can reach this potential.