The Chicago Blackhawks’ very own Dominik Kubalik has been named a finalist for the Calder Trophy recognizing the rookie of the year in the NHL.
Dominik Kubalik tore things up in his rookie season. Kubalik managed to put up 46 points in 68 games. While 46 might not be that impressive what is impressive would the 30 goals he scored along the way.
Kubalik did not start his impressive scoring race until midway through the season. After January started until the season shut down in March Kubalik put up 19 goals during the time. The biggest reason Kubalik does not have more points is the fact that the Blackhawks did not start to play him on their top line until the end of the year. He was not a top-line guy until February, and that was when his point-scoring skyrocketed.
Kubalik is not the first Chicago Blackhawks forward to be named a Calder Trophy finalist. Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin both took home the award during their rookie years. I believe that Kubalik is a testimony of the one good thing Stan Bowman has done during his reign as general manager.
Stan Bowman has found a way to bring in high-level talent like Artemi Panarin and Dominik Kubalik without drafting them. They both have been nominated for the Calder Trophy in their rookie seasons. While they might not have been as young as some of the other rookies, there still is a transition to the NHL ice.
Dominik Kubalik is not a lock to take home the trophy though. Both Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar had an excellent rookie season. I believe that any one of these three guys would be worthy of taking home the trophy, but at the end of the day, Kubalik might have the best skill level.
At the end of the day, just getting nominated for the Calder trophy is an honor. It shows that the Blackhawks have one of the top three rookie players in the NHL. So congratulations to Dominik Kubalik, now let’s get back on track on winning a Stanley Cup that matters more than a Calder trophy!