NHL Rookie of the Year ladder: Big rise from Adam Fantilli in Week 12

The NHL’s Rookie of the Year race is reaching its midway point, so who is in the lead, and which rookie made the biggest jump in Week 12?

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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3. Logan Cooley, C, Arizona Coyotes

Logan Cooley finds himself in a heated battle with another pair of rookie sensations named Adam Fantilli and Connor Bedard. But if there is one edge that Cooley has over the two players ranked ahead of him, it’s that he’s been a pivotal part of the Arizona Coyotes exceeding everyone’s expectations. 

While Bedard and Fantilli continue to simply be bright spots on struggling hockey teams, Cooley’s 18 points in 34 contests, including two goals on the power play, has helped Arizona enjoy its best season since 2019-20. If Cooley’s production increases, the Coyotes will organically keep improving into one of the league’s best teams, and things could be trending in that direction. 

Over his previous five games, Cooley has three assists and a plus-1 rating. He’s also pitched in defensively with eight hits. Sure, Cooley has a tough hill to climb if he plans on winning the Calder, but given his value to a team that has overachieved so far in 2023-24, that alone should warrant serious consideration. 

Individual numbers will ultimately decide who wins Rookie of the Year honors, however, and that’s why Fantilli and Bedard remain at No. 1 and No. 2 in this race.