The NHL has announced the three finalists for the Calder Trophy which is given to the league’s rookie of the year. Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and Tampa Bay Lightning teammates Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson are this year’s candidates for the award.
The award is expected to go to MacKinnon after the 2013 first overall pick led all rookies in scoring with 63 points and 39 assists. MacKinnon is even the holder of the longest point streak by a player 18 or younger at 12 straight games, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record in the process.
Palat finished the year with 59 points (23 + 36), finishing just three shy of breaking Brad Richards’ Lightning rookie record. Johnson, on the other hand, led all rookies in goals with 24, and become the second rookie in league history to score five power-play and shorthand goals in the same season. He is also the first undrafted Calder Trophy finalist since Ed Belfour in 1991.
Palat and Johnson are the first teammates to be nominated for the award since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks were nominated in 2008.
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