Kirill Kaprizov had 99 of 100 first-place votes in the 2021 Calder Trophy voting. The 24-year-old lived up to the hype, tallying 27 goals with 24 assists in 55 games during the 2021 season. However, in somewhat of a consolation prize for the home team, LA Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson earned one fifth-place vote.
The 21-year-old expanded off a six-game sample size at the end of the 2019-20 season, playing a full season primarily paired with the veteran Drew Doughty. The duo accounted for a 47.2 xGF% in over 800 minutes on ice.
When asked if Doughty would like the Kings to find him another partner for next season, he halted all talk of ditching Anderson in his year-end interview.
“No, I don’t want someone [new]. I like playing with Mikey Anderson,” a matter-of-fact Doughty said. “I love playing with Mikey Anderson. We’ve developed quite the partnership. I mean, I don’t think [the Kings] need to bring in anyone in to play with me.”
The Minnesota-Duluth alum scored his only goal near the end of the season against Anaheim – a puck that skirted past Anthony Stolarz, where Anderson backhanded it into the net.
In all, the young defenseman tallied 12 points and led all rookie defensemen, averaging 21:11 TOI. His fifth-place vote in the Calder Trophy voting is subtle, but it’s a testament to how hard Anderson worked this past season. And he’s only going to get better.