The NHL announced the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s rookie-of-the-year. The finalists are Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik and Colorado Avalanche defenceman Cale Makar.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 15, 2020
Calder Memorial Trophy Finalists Announced
The Calder Memorial Trophy is named after former NHL President Frank Calder. Calder bought a trophy each year from the 1936-37 season until his death in 1943 to honour the league’s most outstanding rookie. After his death, the league made the trophy permanent and named it after him. Winners of this trophy have had a wide range of careers. Some players such as Terry Sawchuk, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers. While others like Steve Mason and Barret Jackman have had good NHL careers, but were never considered superstars.
Hughes scored eight goals, 45 assists for 53 points in 68 games this season. He finished first among rookies in scoring and fifth amongst all NHL defenceman. Only Nicklas Lidstrom has scored more points than Hughes among rookie defencemen in the past 30 years. Lidstrom scored 60 points in 80 games and Hughes would have passed him if the season wasn’t shut down early because of Covid-19. Among his own team, Hughes was a crucial player. His 21:53 of ice-time was second on the team and first among all NHL rookies, and his 52.7 Corsi for percentage at even strength was first among Canucks’ defenceman. It should be noted that 58.4 percent of his starts were in the offensive zone and 41.6 were in the defensive zone according to Hockey Refrence.com.
Kubalik scored 30 goals, 16 assists for 46 points to finish third in rookie scoring. His 30 goals were 10 more than the next closest rookie and his 38 even strength points led the rookie class as well. Kubalik played most of the season with Jonathan Toews as his centre. He was second on the team in goal scoring, third in points and third in game-winning goals. Kubalik’s emergence significantly helped Chicago make it into the play-in round. He was also one of only eight players on the team to have an even-strength Corsi for percentage over 50.
Makar finished second in rookie scoring with 12 goals 38 assists for 57 points in 57 games. His 0.88 points per game led all rookies and are the highest average among rookie defencemen in the past 30 years. He finished second among rookies for even-strength points and finished second in scoring for his team. He finished eighth on the Avalanche in Corsi for percentage with 52.9. However, he spent a lot of his time in the offensive zone. According to Hockey Reference.com, 62.8 percent of his starts were in the offensive zone and 37.7 were in the defensive zone.
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