Calder Trophy finalists announced

Kirill Kaprizov, Jason robertson and Alex Nedeljkovic were named finalists for the Calder Trophy on Thursday.

The trophy is presented annually to the best rookie in the NHL following a survey of the Professional Association of Journalists in Hockey (PHWA). The winner will be announced at the 2021 NHL Trophy Show presented by Bridgestone during the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals or the Stanley Cup Final.

Kaprizov, a 24-year-old forward, led all NHL rookies in goals (27), points (51), power-play goals (eight) and shots (157) in 55 games with the Wild of Minnesota. He was second in even strength points (38) and power play points (13), and third in differential (plus-10). He led the Wild in goals, points, points per game average (0.93) and overtime goals (two), and he had three game-winning goals. Kaprizov, who averaged 18:18 per game and maintained a 17.2 percent shooting percentage, recorded the highest total of goals, assists and points by a rookie in the history of the Wild.

Video: MIN @ LAK: Kaprizov scores a beautiful goal

Kaprizov, who led Minnesota (35-16-5) to third in the Western Honda Division and a Stanley Cup playoff berth, would be the first Wild player to earn the honor.

“Obviously, [une victoire] would have made things a little better, after such a tough season and a first-round playoff elimination, Kaprizov said. But honestly, I’m not the type of person who is looking for individual honors. I would rather see the team win and be successful than get individual trophies. « 

Robertson, a 21-year-old forward, led the NHL rookies in assists (28) and even strength points (39), and he was tied for first in differential (plus-13) in 51 games with the Dallas Stars. He was second in points (45) and tied for second in goals (17). Robertson was second on the Stars in points, behind Joe pavelski (51), and third for shots on goal (127) playing an average of 16:53 per game.

Video: FLA @ DAL: Robertson scores with a perfect shot

Robertson would be the third Minnesota Stars / North Stars player to claim the trophy, joining Bobby Smith in 1978-79 and Danny Grant in 1968-69.

Nedeljkovic, a 25-year-old goaltender, compiled a 15-5-3 record for the Carolina Hurricanes and led the NHL in shutouts by one rookie (three), tied with Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders. Nedeljkovic’s 1.90 goals against average and .932 save percentage are all-time highs among any NHL goaltender who have played 20 or more games. He allowed two goals or less in 16 of his 23 starts, helping the Hurricanes (36-12-8) to finish atop the Central Discover section.

Video: CAR @ NSH # 3: Nedeljkovic frustrates Forsberg and Johansen

Nedeljkovic is said to be the second Hartford Hurricanes / Whalers player to win the trophy, joining Jeff skinner in 2010-11. He would also be the first goalie to get his hands on the Calder since Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008-09.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Makar wedge won the Calder Trophy last season.

* With the collaboration of Jessi Pierce, Independent Correspondent

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