In 1990, in response to 31-year-old Sergei Makarov winning the NHL's Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, a requirement was added to the award: the winner had to be 26 or younger.
The very next season, relatively seasoned goalie Ed Belfour, 25, won the award. Since then, younger players in the 18-21 range have generally won it, with goalies like Evgeni Nabokov and Andrew Raycroft being the main outliers.
With the exception of Artemi Panarin, who won at age 24 in 2015-16, no skater over 22 has won the award in the last quarter-century.
This makes the Wild's Kirill Kaprizov, who just turned 24, somewhat of an anomaly.
But it doesn't change this: He is qualified for the award even after playing professionally in Russia. And more importantly, he absolutely deserves to win the award after navigating his first NHL season in a pandemic with 24 goals in 51 games so far.
Wild beat writer Sarah McLellan laid out how she views the Calder Trophy voting on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast, while veteran Wild forward Nick Bjugstad explained what makes Kaprizov so special in his mind.
"You saw him in the Olympics and saw clips of him scoring goals," Bjugstad said. But from Day One we were having captain's practice and when he showed up the thing that impressed me the most was his work ethic and how he wasn't your typical high-end goal scorer. He plays both sides of the puck. He battles in the corners. I went into the corner with him and he let it be known that he wasn't going to give up the puck without a fight. He's just a strong kid and he works extremely hard. He's like a blue collar skill guy. Those are hard to find, and it's just been amazing to see him flourish all season."
Stars rookie Jason Robertson, a couple years younger than Kaprizov, has had a very good season as well (16 goals, 42 points). But he's playing for a team on the fringes of the playoff race and fading fast. Kaprizov is having a better season for a team he has absolutely elevated.
If you want to manufacture a debate about whether Kaprizov is worthy because of his previous experience and age, that's your business.
But in reality, the choice is simple: the Calder should reside with a Wild player for the first time in the organization's history, and it really isn't even close.