On Wednesday the NHL named the three finalists for the Calder Trophy and two of them come from the same team. The Calder, which is given "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition," will be handed out to one of these three: Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning and his teammate in Florida, Tyler Johnson. MacKinnon was the first overall selection in last summer's draft by the Colorado Avalanche and made an immediate impact. He started ths season in a limited, bottom-six role but with his play as well as some injuries, he garnered more playing time. In the first two games of these playoffs he recorded a goal and five assists. His regular-season accomplishments include leading all rookies in points with 63, tying for the lead in goals at 24, power-play goals, game-winning goals and shots. If he wins he would be the second member of the Avalanche to win the award in the last three seasons (Gabriel Landeskog in 2012). Palat had a very strong season for the Lightning, proving himself as a good two-way player as a rookie. He was instrumental in helping the Lightning stay afloat after the injury to Steven Stamkos early in the season. Palat finished the season second behind MacKinnon in rookie points with 59, finishing one goal behind him for the rookie lead as well. Palat was especially strong in the new year, scoring 44 points in the final 42 games of the season.
MacKinnon, Palat, Johnson finalists for Calder Trophy
CBS Sports | Apr 23