|Cam Atkinson on the first day of Camp|
Since it is the season for reckless predictions, I thought I would go ahead and make mine. My predictive track record for any thing remotely positive is dismal. My predictive record when I am spewing bile at those I dislike (see Predators, Nashville) is even worse. The lesson, of course, is that spewing bile is not a good idea. The crow you eat at the end is even worse.
But I love guys flying below the radar. I notice that Puck Daddy hedged his bets, and gave 'the field' a bunch of guys like Cam Atkinson 3/1 odds to win the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year, same as he gave Brayden Schenn. I am not going to hedge my bets that much. Cam Atkinson is going to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
Thus, I am counting on your collective forgetfulness to not rip me terribly next April, for a bad prediction. And of course, to win an award like the Calder Trophy you need to have a little luck. It remains to be seen if Cam has that kind of luck.
But he's got a shot at this achievement because I think he is going to make us forget about the Nicky(s), Nickolay(i) and Nikita respectively.
|Wiz and Atkinson consult during the McConnell Cu|
Yes Atkinson is not the biggest guy. But the maturity that he brings to his play, and his record of success in helping his team win a National Championship at Boston College is something that other rookies are going to have a hard time matching.
Will some of the other players end up having better careers than Cam? Probably. But I don't think we are going to be disappointed with what our new number 13 is going to bring to the table. I love the way this guy plays, and his first achievement is kicking Derick Brassard out of the top 6. Will that last all season? No, probably not. Brass is a pretty good player. But that kind of competition has never been seen in a Blue Jackets line up before. And that is nothing but good for the team. Think about it. Competition from Atkinson spurs Brass to a career year. If Brass is having a career year, it is great for the team.
So congratulations Cam Atkinson on your achievement. Now the challenge starts! Best of luck in the NHL in 2011-12!