Calder Trophy Preview

By Skylar Peters

In this year’s toned-down edition of the NHL awards, there is no live event. Instead, there was a broadcast on the NHL Network and last night, where some of the NHL’s top trophies, such as the Selke, Jack Adams, and Bill Masterton, were handed out. The remainder of the hardware will be awarded before tonight’s game two. Today we take a look at the finalists for the Calder Trophy.

The Calder Trophy is awarded every year to “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”

Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers

Huberdeau was selected third overall by the Panthers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 31 points, (14 G, 17 A) which was second on the Panthers and also second among rookies. Compared to other first-years, he placed third in goals, fourth in assists, and third in shots on goal, with 112. He was one of the lone bright spots in the midst of a dismal season for Florida.

Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens

Gallagher ranked second among rookies with 15 goals and fourth with 28 points. He was fourth on the Canadiens with a plus-minus of +10, all in 44 games with Montreal. Gallagher was injured mid-season, but only missed 4 games because of it, and came back to have a great rookie campaign.

Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks

Saad had a remarkable first year after being placed on the top line of the Hawks with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews. It paid off for the youngster as he led all rookies in plus-minus with a +17 rating. He finished fifth in goals (10) third in assists, (17) and fifth in points (27). Saad also was tied for first among rookies with one shorthanded goal, and tied for second among first-years with 2 game winners.

Many analysts believe that the Rookie of the Year will come down to Saad and Huberdeau, with Huberdeau taking the edge. They both showed a lot of maturity for only playing in their first year, but Huberdeau really had to step up for the Panthers, while Saad did not have to be a key player every game, although he was at times.

Tune in to NHL Network before Game Two tonight to see who took home the Calder, and all the rest of the NHL awards!

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