The NHL started announcing finalists for regular season awards today and first up was the Calder Trophy, which goes to the top rookie. The finalists are New Jersey's Adam Henrique, Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog and Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Here's the release from the NHL:
Center Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils, left wing Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 Calder Trophy, which is awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
A third-round pick by the Devils in 2008 and winner of back-to-back Memorial Cups with the OHL Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010, Henrique filled a crucial void in the Devils lineup following an Achilles injury to No. 1 center Travis Zajac, who missed all but 15 games this season. Henrique made the most of his opportunity by tallying 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 74 games, mostly centering wings Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. He led all rookies in assists and shorthanded goals (four), ranked third in rookie scoring and posted the NHL's longest point streak among freshmen (seven games, Nov. 25 to Dec. 8).
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Selected second overall at the 2011 NHL Draft, Landeskog assumed a leading role on an Avalanche club that improved by 20 points over its 2010-11 total. Landeskog posted 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in 82 games, capturing the rookie scoring title in a tie-breaker over Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18-34--52) on the basis of more goals. Landeskog ranked second among rookies in goals and third in assists, making him the only rookie among the top three in all three categories. The 19-year-old left wing led all rookies and set a Colorado franchise record with 270 shots on goal and was the only rookie to lead his club in goals.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
A spectacular start to his NHL career quickly ended speculation where Nugent-Hopkins, the first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, would spend the 2011-12 season. He notched the game-tying goal in the season opener against Pittsburgh, tallied a hat trick in his third career game and became the first 18-year-old in League history to tally five assists in one game, against Chicago on Nov. 19. Nugent-Hopkins went on to finish in a tie for first place among rookies in points with 52 (18 goals, 34 assists) despite missing 20 games due to injury. His point-per-game average of .84 was the best among rookies.