It has been a little more than eight months since the 2016 NHL draft in Buffalo. Since then, we've had one of the most exciting Calder Trophy races in recent memory between first-overall pick Auston Matthews and second-overall pick Patrik Laine.
Although the debate on who is having the superior season is a captivating one, it's more interesting to focus on the long-term potential of both players. Who will have had the better career when all is said and done?
Why discuss this again? From an evaluator's perspective, I find this debate very fascinating because there are many good and different arguments one could put forward in favor of either player. In fact, one NHL scout polled on the matter responded with "I don't know," a second said "That's not fair," and another said "Nope, not going there."
Let's look at the arguments in favor of each, and offer up a conclusion on which has the higher career projection at the moment.