Calder Finalists Announced
The NHL has announced the three finalists for the Calder trophy, handed out yearly to the league's best rookie.
There were seemingly no surprises in this year's nominees. Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings will go head to on June 23rd from Las Vegas for the award.
Duchene led the league in rookie scoring with 24 goals and 55 points. He was a +1 on the year and only recorded 16 penalty minutes. Duchene was an integral part to the Avs' comeback season and a shoe-in candidate.
He will have competition, however, from Defenseman Tyler Myers, who established himself as a top pairing defenseman in Buffalo, something that's generally unheard of for a rookie defenseman, especially one at 18 years of age. Myers scored 11 goals and a total 48 points, again, incredible for a young rookie defenseman. He was +13 on the season with 32 PIMs, leading his team in time on ice, powerplay time on ice, as well as shorthanded time on ice.
Finally, Jimmy Howard stole the starting goaltending job in Detroit from Chris Osgood and ran with it, posting a 37-15-10 record in 63 games, a performance which led the Red Wings to the post season after a mediocre start. The Rookie goaltender posted a 2.26 GAA and a .924 SVP, with 3 shutouts, amongst the top stats in the league.
Missing from the ballot are the two players who probably round out the top 5. John Tavares was the first overall pick in last year's draft and was only a point behind Duchene for the lead in rookie scoring, but he didn't make the final three. Similarly, Tuuka Rask had better statistics than Jimmy Howard, but played less games.
Yesterday, the league announced the three finalists for the Lady Byng, the award handed "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."
Surprise surprise, Pavel Datsyuk is up for the award, going for his 5th straight win. Joining him will be Brad Richards, another former winner, and Martin St. Louis, a multiple-time runner up.
More to come.