The news arrived via a call from his agent Monday morning, and the congratulations arrived later via teammates at Xcel Energy Center: Blackhawks rookie Brandon Saad is a Calder Trophy finalist. That done, the 20-year-old left wing preferred to figure out how to crack the scoresheet in Game 4 against the Wild on Tuesday. "I had a good year, but a lot of guys had good years this year," Saad said. "It's an honor to be recognized, so you're hoping for it. We're focused on playoffs right now, but it's nice to get mentioned." Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher and Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau also are finalists for the rookie of the year award. Saad had 27 points in 47 games and led all rookies with a plus-17 rating after jumping on the top line in the season opener following an injury to Daniel Carcillo. But he is looking for his first postseason point, scuffling along with the entire Hawks top line. "It's a little frustrating we're not playing our best," Saad said. "When we do play our best, the points will come." The present is a challenge, but the Calder nomination portends good things. "He was maybe under the radar when we started, but the appreciation of what he contributed to the team game start to finish was very strong," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "His strength and size and anticipation on both sides of the puck will make him real good player going forward." Outage: After going 0-for-2 on the power play during their 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3, the Hawks have converted once in nine opportunities in the series.
Hawks' Saad a Calder Trophy finalist
Chicago Tribune | May 7