NEW YORK (June 29, 2021) – The National Hockey League announced today the 2020-21 NHL All-Rookie Team, including the three players voted as finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the League’s top rookie: forwards Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild and Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars as well as goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Also named to the 2020-21 NHL All-Rookie Team are forward Josh Norris of the Ottawa Senators and defensemen K’Andre Miller of the New York Rangers and Ty Smith of the New Jersey Devils.
Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the conclusion of the regular season. Following is a summary of each NHL All-Rookie Team member’s outstanding campaign:
Alex Nedeljkovic, Carolina Hurricanes
Nedeljkovic, a second-round pick (37th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft, led all goaltenders (rookie or veteran) with a 1.90 goals-against average and .932 save percentage – both single-season franchise records – to power the Hurricanes to their first division title since 2005-06. Nedeljkovic, who began the season on Carolina’s taxi squad, went 15-5-3 in 23 total appearances, including three shutouts (Feb. 20 vs. TBL, March 22 at CBJ and April 8 vs. FLA). That record was aided by a pair of lengthy point streaks: seven games from March 1-25 (6-0-1) and eight contests from April 8 – May 3 (7-0-1). The 25-year-old Parma, Ohio, native is the Hurricanes’ first All-Rookie Team representative since defenseman Justin Faulk in 2011-12 and the second goaltender in franchise history to make the list, following Peter Sidorkiewicz in 1988-89 (w/ HFD).
DEFENSEMEN (in alphabetical order)
K’Andre Miller, New York Rangers
Miller, the 22nd overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, ranked second among rookie defensemen in both average time on ice (21:07) and total time on ice (1,118:49) while registering a +9 rating – tied for second among first-year blueliners. Miller, who played in 53 of New York’s 56 games, also led rookie defensemen in goals (5) and blocked shots (77) and placed third in overall scoring (5-7—12). He topped rookie blueliners and finished sixth among all NHL defensemen with 33 takeaways while receiving only 20 penalty minutes, the second-fewest among rookies who averaged at least 20 minutes per game in 2020-21 (minimum: 10 GP). The 21-year-old St. Paul, Minn., native is the fourth defenseman in Rangers history who has been voted to the All-Rookie Team, joining Brady Skjei (2016-17), Michael Del Zotto (2009-10) and Brian Leetch (1988-89).
Ty Smith, New Jersey Devils
Smith, the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, paced rookie defensemen in assists (21), points (23), power-play assists (6) and power-play points (7) while averaging 20:07 across 48 contests. Smith, who scored in his League debut (Jan. 14 vs. BOS), became the sixth blueliner in NHL history to begin his career with a point streak of at least five games (Jan. 14-24: 1-5—6), following Marek Zidlicky (6 GP w/ NSH), Harry Cameron (5 GP w/ Toronto Arenas), Hap Day (5 GP w/ Toronto St. Patricks), Cale Makar (5 GP w/ COL) and Larry Murphy (5 GP w/ LAK). The 21-year-old Lloydminster, Alta., native is the sixth Devils defenseman who has been named to the All-Rookie Team, after Will Butcher (2017-18), Colin White (2000-01), Brian Rafalski (1999-00), Scott Niedermayer (1992 93) and Eric Weinrich (1990-91).
FORWARDS (in alphabetical order)
Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
Kaprizov, a fifth-round selection (135th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, led NHL rookies and all Wild skaters in both goals (27) and points (51) in 55 games to power Minnesota to the postseason for the eighth time in nine years. Only three other rookies since 1993-94 have paced their team in points during the regular season while also helping them qualify for the playoffs: Auston Matthews (2016-17 w/ TOR), Filip Forsberg (2014-15 w/ NSH) and Trent Hunter (2003-04 w/ NYI). Kaprizov – who set several franchise rookie records despite the shortened season – also led all rookies in shots on goal (157) and ranked second in assists (24) while topping rookie forwards in average time on ice (18:18). The 24-year-old Novokuznetsk, Russia, native is the second player in Wild history who has been selected to the All-Rookie Team, joining teammate Jonas Brodin (2012-13).
Josh Norris, Ottawa Senators
Norris, the 19th overall pick by the San Jose Sharks in the 2017 NHL Draft, ranked third on the Senators and among NHL rookies with 17-18—35 while playing in all 56 games. Norris, who paced first-year skaters in both power-play assists (8) and power-play points (14), finished among the leading rookies in several other offensive categories, including shooting percentage (2nd; 17.7%), goals (t-2nd; 17), power-play goals (t 2nd; 6), assists (4th; 18) and shots on goal (7th; 96). He also topped rookies in face-offs won (379), face-offs taken (724) and face-off winning percentage (52.3%). The 22-year-old Oxford, Mich., native is the sixth Senators’ forward to make the All-Rookie Team, after Brady Tkachuk (2018-19), Mark Stone (2014-15), Martin Havlat (2000-01), Marian Hossa (1998-99) and Daniel Alfredsson (1995-96).
Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars
Robertson, a second-round choice (39th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, finished second on the Stars and among NHL rookies with 17-28—45 in 51 contests. He topped League rookies in assists (28), plus/minus (tied, +13) and even-strength points (39), and also ranked among the leading rookies in shots on goal (2nd; 127), goals (t-2nd; 17), game-winning goals (t-4th; 3), power-play assists (t-5th; 5) and shooting percentage (8th; 13.4%). Robertson’s season was highlighted by a nine-game point streak from April 13-27 (4-9—13), the longest by a rookie since the franchise relocated to Dallas in 1993-94 and the longest by any rookie since 2017-18 (Clayton Keller: 10 GP w/ ARI). The 21-year-old Arcadia, Calif., native is the fifth player in Stars/North Stars history who has been selected to the All-Rookie Team and just the second forward, following Mike Modano (1989-90).
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