5 things we learned in the NHL: Keller early Calder Trophy frontrunner

Michael Grabner scored twice en route to a 5-3 win for the Rangers over the Blue Jackets.

Arizona has a potential rookie of the year, the Jets have a sniper heating up and the Sedins are up to their old tricks.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Monday night.

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Keller leading Calder Trophy race
Clayton Keller may be playing on the worst team in the NHL, but the rookie forward has been one of the league’s best players so far this season.

The 19-year-old scored again in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Washington Capitals. It was his 11th goal of the season and 17th point — tops among all rookies.

Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser and Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders entered the night trailing Keller by three points in the rookie scoring race.

The five-foot-10, 168-pound Keller has become the early frontrunner for the Calder Trophy with his early-season production.

Laine strikes again
Winnipeg Jets sophomore Patrik Laine hasn’t started out as dominantly as last year when he fooled goaltenders with his quick, lethal release.

Despite the slower start goals wise, Laine is starting to pick things up, and after a power-play goal during a 4-1 victory on Monday against the Dallas Stars, he’s now scored in three straight games.

The 19-year-old right-winger has seven goals through 14 games this year as compared to the 11 goals in 14 games he scored last season.

There’s little reason for concern when it comes to Laine. Like the Jets themselves, who have won four of their last five, both sides are heating up.

Perron uses really, really old shoulder pads
It’s no secret that athletes are a superstitious breed and hockey players are no exception.

But when you make $3.75 million per year like Vegas Golden Knights forward David Perron, you have to a raise an eyebrow upon finding out that he uses the same shoulder pads since he was 12 years old. Yes, 12!

Perron’s shoulder pads were featured on the Sportsnet broadcast in Vegas’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was explained that when the 29-year-old played with the Edmonton Oilers for 1 1/2 years, he tried new ones but didn’t like the fit and asked the trainers for his old set back.

The Oilers trainers had to scramble, though, as the shoulder pads were given to the team shop to sell as used equipment. Thankfully for Perron, he re-obtained them and is excelling in the Golden Knights’ inaugural season.

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Sedins regain regular shifts
Daniel and Henrik Sedin were back to their regular ice time against the Detroit Red Wings just days after each received under nine minutes.

The move paid off as Daniel scored in the third period for Vancouver, but the Canucks ended up falling 3-2 to the Red Wings after a late goal from Tomas Tatar.

Daniel played 8:38 and Henrik 8:52 against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in a 4-2 win. It was a different story against the Red Wings as Daniel finished with 17:04 of ice time and Henrik played 16:07.

The 37-year-old Sedins aren’t producing like they used to, but as the matchup against Detroit indicates, they can still be productive elements of the Canucks offence.

Rangers turning season around quickly
It was just under a week ago that there were murmurs about New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault being let go. The team was off to a lousy start and their star players were underperforming.

Four straight wins over the past week against Vegas, Tampa Bay, Florida and now a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets have the Rangers (7-7-2) just one point out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. So much for that quick firing trigger.

It was a late rally that propelled New York over the Blue Jackets on Monday, with the Rangers scoring four times in the third period. Three of those goals came on the man advantage.

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