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Your Calder Memorial Trophy Finalists

NEW YORK (July 15, 2020) – Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, Chicago Blackhawks left wing Dominik Kubalik and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the three finalists for the 2019‑20 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 after the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.

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

Quinn Hughes, D, Vancouver Canucks

Hughes posted 8-45—53 in 68 games to become the third defenseman in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to top all rookies in scoring (outright or tied), joining Brian Leetch (1988-89 w/ NYR) and Bobby Orr (1966-67 w/ BOS). His 53 points were the most by any rookie blueliner since 1991-92, when Nicklas Lidstrom compiled 11-49—60 in 80 appearances (w/ DET), and three shy of Dale Tallon’s single-season franchise record for a rookie defenseman, set in 10 more games in 1970-71 (14-42—56 in 78 GP). Hughes also led all 2019-20 rookies in assists (45), power-play assists (22) and power-play points (25), while ranking among the top five in average time on ice (2nd; 21:53), total time on ice (2nd; 1,488:09) and shots on goal (5th; 126). The 20-year-old Orlando, Fla., native is looking to become the second straight Canucks player to claim the Calder Trophy, following Elias Pettersson in 2018-19. The last team to boast consecutive Calder Trophy winners was the Boston Bruins, in 1966-67 (Orr) and 1967-68 (Derek Sanderson).


Dominik Kubalik, LW, Chicago Blackhawks

Kubalik led all rookies with 30 goals in 68 games (30-16—46), making him the fifth rookie in Blackhawks history to reach the 30-goal milestone after Steve Larmer (43 in 1982-83), Darryl Sutter (40 in 1980-81), Eric Daze (30 in 1995‑96) and Artemi Panarin (30 in 2015-16). The 24-year-old Plzen, Czech Republic, native became the first Czech-born player in NHL history to pace rookies in goals as well as the third to reach the 30‑goal plateau, joining Petr Klima (32 in 1985-86) and Petr Prucha (30 in 2005-06). Kubalik, who topped all 2019-20 rookies and ranked seventh in the entire NHL with a 19.1 shooting percentage, also placed among the top 10 freshmen in shots on goal (1st; 157), points (3rd; 46), power-play goals (t-6th; 4), game-winning goals (t‑6th; 3), assists (t-9th; 16) and power-play points (t-10th; 8). He is vying to become the first Czech-born player to earn the Calder Trophy as well as the 10th Blackhawks player to capture the award, following recent winners Panarin (2015-16) and Patrick Kane (2007-08).


Cale Makar, D, Colorado Avalanche

Makar, who burst onto the scene in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs by scoring the winning goal in his League debut, continued to make waves in his first full NHL season, topping rookies with 0.88 points per game (12-38—50 in 57 GP). Only three other rookie blueliners in NHL history have averaged as many points per game in a single season (minimum: 50 GP): Leetch (1.04 in 1988-89 w/ NYR), Larry Murphy (0.95 in 1980-81 w/ LAK) and Al MacInnis (0.88 in 1983-84 w/ CGY). Makar also finished among the 2019-20 rookie leaders in game-winning goals (t-1st; 4), assists (2nd; 38), points (2nd; 50), power-play assists (2nd; 15), power-play points (2nd; 19), average time on ice (3rd; 21:01), goals (6th; 12), power-play goals (t-6th; 4), plus/minus (7th; +12), shots on goal (8th; 121) and shooting percentage (8th; 9.9%). The 21-year-old Calgary native is seeking to become the sixth player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to capture the Calder Trophy and fourth since the franchise relocated to Colorado, following Nathan MacKinnon (2013-14), Gabriel Landeskog (2011-12) and Chris Drury (1998-99).

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Down River Dan's avatar

I sure hope Zadina continues to progress his offensive ability, or passing on Quinn Hughes will be Kenny Holland’s final gift to Wings Fans.

Yes, I know Zadina “fell into the Wings arms” and was ranked at #3 overall and they couldn’t pass on him, but damn…Quinn Hughes sure looked good running Vancouver’s PP unit this season.  grrr

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/15/20 at 01:53 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/15/20 at 01:53 PM ET

I wonder if Montreal and Arizona fans are as bitter, or if they’ve decided to wait and see what happens with their own picks considering these kids are only 20 years old….

Posted by TreKronor on 07/15/20 at 03:02 PM ET


Kenny Holland’s final gift to Wings Fans

This was an inspired pick by the Canucks rather than a whiff by Detroit; Hughes was generally not even considered the next best available D after Dahlin by most scouting roll-ups.

Posted by Unhealthy Scratch on 07/15/20 at 10:26 PM ET


I think it’s ok to say Holland blew this pick.
Own goal. Self-inflicted. No excuse when he’s playing
in your backyard. I have no idea who would have been rated
ahead of Hughes at D other than Dahlin. It’s especially galling when
Holland went on and on for years about how it’s impossible to acquire
these guys (super-skilled, smart, great-skating, top-pairing D who
can control the game and the puck and run PP.) “You have to get lucky
in the draft” he kept saying. No one will trade them. They don’t make it to UFA.
The only reason not to draft Hughes was size. At a time when the game had
already rapidly moved toward high-IQ, super-mobile, super-skilled smaller players.

If it’s between a top D and a top winger, especially given our needs, you always take the defenseman. 

But we can also accept that Zadina has shown more and more as he’s gotten comfortable, has high potential and we are glad to have him and look forward to lots of goals to come.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/16/20 at 04:02 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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