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NHL 2018 Calder Memorial Trophy down to three rookies

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

NEW YORK – New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser and Arizona Coyotescenter Clayton Keller are the three finalists for the 2017-18 Calder Memorial Trophy, 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 2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

 

Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:

 

Mathew Barzal, C, New York Islanders

Barzal, the 16th overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, led all rookies with 22-63—85 (82 GP), 20 points more than the next-closest player. He became the seventh rookie in League history to record at least 20 goals and 60 assists in one season – and first to do so since 2005-06 (Sidney Crosby w/ PIT). Barzal, who also paced rookies in assists (63), power-play assists (22) and power-play points (27), recorded a trio of five-point efforts: Nov. 5 vs. COL (0-5—5), Jan. 13 at NYR (2-3—5) and Feb. 9 vs. DET (0-5—5). In doing so, he became the second rookie in NHL history to post three five-point games within a single season – and first since the League’s inaugural campaign in 1917-18 (Joe Malone w/ MTL). The 20-year-old Coquitlam, B.C., native is vying to become the fifth player in Islanders history to capture the Calder Trophy and first since 1996-97 (Bryan Berard).

 

Brock Boeser, RW, Vancouver Canucks

Boeser, the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ranked second among rookies with 29 goals and fifth with 55 points despite appearing in only 62 contests. He also placed in the top five among rookies in power-play goals (1st; 10), shooting percentage (2nd; 16.2%), power-play points (2nd; 23), power-play assists (t-4th; 13) and game-winning goals (t-5th; 4). Only two rookies have scored more goals in one season for the Canucks (Pavel Bure: 34 in 1991-92 and Trevor Linden: 30 in 1988-89), while just six have collected more points – each while playing more games. The 21-year-old Burnsville, Minn., native – who won the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting competition and earned MVP honors at the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game in January – is seeking to become the second player in Vancouver history to win the Calder Trophy, following Bure in 1991-92.

 

Clayton Keller, C, Arizona Coyotes

Keller, the seventh overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, placed second among rookies with 23-42—65 while skating in all 82 games. His 65 points were the most by a Coyotes rookie since the club relocated to Arizona in 1996-97 – and fifth-most dating to the franchise’s inaugural season in 1979-80. Keller ranked in the top five among 2017-18 NHL rookies in shots on goal (1st; 212), assists (2nd; 42), power-play assists (3rd; 14), power-play goals (t-4th; 6), power-play points (4th; 20) and goals (5th; 23). He also registered a 10-game point streak from March 11-28 (5-9—14), tied for the third-longest in franchise history. The 19-year-old Chesterfield, Mo., native is the third Calder Trophy finalist in Coyotes/Jets history; the previous two (Teemu Selanne in 1992-93 and Dale Hawerchuk in 1981-82) each captured the award.

 

History

From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the League’s outstanding rookie. After Calder’s death, the NHL presented the Calder Trophy in his memory.

 

Announcement Schedule

The series of NHL Awards announcements continues on Monday, April 23, when nominees for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy from each NHL club will be unveiled.

 

2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu

The 2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu will be held Wednesday, June 20, at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s state-of-the-art concert and entertainment venue. It marks the second year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, home to world-class entertainment, dining and party hotspots as well as concerts and special events. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the event live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

 

A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a later date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.