No Philadelphia Flyers rookie has ever won the Calder Trophy. It is not that they have not had their share of viable candidates over the years. They've had a few top-end finishers in the balloting and their fair share who've earned NHL All-Rookie Team selection honors after the season but never an NHL rookie of the year.
Could Shayne Gostisbehere make history as the Flyers' first Calder winner? It's possible, especially if he continues to deliver in clutch situations over the remainder of the stretch drive. However, he has two factors working against him (and, no, being a Flyer is not one of them).
First, Gostisbehere is competing in a tough field of Calder candidates. He faces tough competition from the likes of Artemi Panarin (Chicago Blackhawks), Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings), Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres) and possibly even Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) despite the fact that McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.
Secondly, just as the missed time more likely than not will take McDavid out of the running among the Calder voters in the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, the fact that Gostisbehere has only played 50 games to date due to starting the season in the American Hockey League (he was not recalled to the NHL until Nov. 14) and a brief injury-related absence could wind up hurting his candidacy just enough to push him down a notch or two on some ballots.
Whether he wins the Calder Trophy or not, Gostisbehere has undeniably had a spectacular rookie season. If he doesn't win the Calder, at least he'll be in good company among past Flyers candidates. Arguably, Bill Barber in 1972-73, Brian Propp in 1979-80, Dave Poulin (an older rookie at age 24 but still a Calder qualifier) in 1983-84, Ron Hextall in 1986-87 and Mikael Renberg in 1993-94 had the most Calder-worthy seasons among the field of contenders during their respective rookie seasons.