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Golden Knights Analysis

Has Logan Thompson Entered the Calder Trophy Conversation?



Logan Thompson Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)
Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

It was a strange path to the NHL, but Logan Thompson is here now and off to a tremendous start with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2022-23. The undrafted goaltender has been thrown in as the team’s starter, with both Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit dealing with injuries.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy’s new defensive systems have helped Thompson, yes. But the Calgary native has had to play great himself to assist the Golden Knights in their 10-2 start.

“He’s been fantastic. A lot of times, he’s been standing on his head on some Grade A chances that we give up. It’s always nice that he has our back, and we’re comfortable with him back there,” said Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore.

Thompson has played in eight of the Golden Knight’s twelve games and has a 6-2 record. His save percentage is that of .934 sv%, and he has a 2.01 goals-against average and has saved 5.4 goals above expected. He tallied his second and third career shutouts against the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks and is now 14 wins behind Malcolm Subban for third in Golden Knight’s goalie win history.

“He’s just picking up more and more confidence every game, and it’s great to see he’s he’s been awesome for us to start the year,” said Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith.

Along with Adin Hill, who the VGK traded for late in the summer, the duo lead the NHL in save combined save percentage with a .936 sv%. If they keep it up, they could win the William Jennings Trophy as the goalie duo with the highest save percentage, an award the VGK won in 2020-21.

But there is another award Thompson could have his eye on this season (outside of the Stanley Cup).

Calder Memorial Trophy

The official description of the Calder Trophy is that the award goes to “the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”

Thompson is not in his first year anymore. But according to the rulebook, a player has to play in either 25 games in his rookie season to be eligible for the Calder or he becomes ineligible if he has played in six or more games in two or more seasons. They also have to be younger than 26 years old.

Thompson played in one game in 2020-21. Last season he made his true debut with injuries, appearing in 19 games in 2021-22. But the 25-year old Thompson did not hit the magic number of 25 GP.

Works for me, says Gary Bettman, probably.

The Golden Knights have never had any player win the Calder, let alone be nominated for it. I think it is safe to say that Thompson will be the first Golden Knight to recieve serious Calder consideration.

Last season Mo Seider of the Detroit Red Wings won the award. The last goaltender to win the award was Steve Mason in 2009 with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Competition

It’s early, but the NHL’s rookie class for 2022-23 looks like a strong one. Currently leading the pack in scoring in Matty Beniers with the Seattle Kraken. The 19-year old second overall pick has nine points in 12 games. Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators is off to a good start too with seven points in ten games.

Kent Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Owen Power of the Buffalo Sabres, Mason McTavish of the Anaheim Ducks, and Dylan Guenther of the Arizona Coyotes are also notable names in the rookie class.

Hurting Thompson’s case is the tendency of votes to go to the top point producers. Since 2012 there have only only been two winners of the Calder who did not lead the rookie class in scoring. Both times this happened the award was given to defenseman (2022, Mo Seider and 2015 Aaron Ekblad).

In 2009, Steve Mason won the award as a goaltender but recieved 96% of the popular vote. So for Thompson to get his name on the trophy, he will likely have to truly emerge as a great goaltender.


Things are going in the right direction for Thompson in his first true season in the NHL. I doubt he has thought much about how he could realistically win the Calder. He likely just wants to continue playing strong and proving people wrong.

“You see all that noise and what every expert and data analyst had to say about me, and it definitely just motivates me to keep doing what I’ve been doing and prove people wrong,” said Thompson.

Keep an eye on Thompson’s play moving forward with the factor that if he continues his strong play. We’ll see how the team’s goaltendign develops with Brossoit’s return too.

But Thompson could be in the category for an award  most NHL players only get a chance to win once.