The winner is…Mikey Anderson
There was preseason talk of Gabe Vilardi being a potential Calder Trophy candidate as the NHL Rookie of the Year, and I still think Vilardi will be a top-six NHL forward for years to come. Still, the LA Kings best rookie this season was Mikey Anderson.
It is difficult for most rookie defensemen to adjust to the NHL, let alone play on the top pair, but Anderson handled it better than anyone in the organization could have hoped for. The Kings have been looking for a consistent partner for Drew Doughty since they traded Jake Muzzin, and they just may have found him this season.
The LA Kings might have had a disappointing season in the standings, but the play of these rookies certainly gives the team and its fans hope for the future. It’s looking like 2017 was a good year for the Kings, as all three of these players came from that year’s draft class.