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Your Calder Trophy Finalists

NEW YORK (May 11, 2022) – Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Michael Bunting, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider and Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras are the three finalists for the 2021‑22 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 at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.

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

Michael Bunting, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs

Bunting led all rookies with 23-40—63 in 79 games to help power a Maple Leafs offense that ranked second in the NHL with 315 goals – the team’s most in a season since 1989-90 (337). Bunting, who recorded the third-most points in a season by a Toronto rookie behind only Auston Matthews (40‑29—69 in 2016-17) and Peter Ihnacak (28-38—66 in 1982-83), also placed among the top 2021-22 rookies in assists (2nd; 40), plus/minus (2nd; +27), goals (t-2nd; 23), shots on goal (6th; 175) and shooting percentage (6th; 13.1%). The 2014 fourth-round pick (117th overall by ARI), who signed with the Maple Leafs in July, found the scoresheet in 44 of his 79 appearances (55.7%) – highlighted by 14 multi-point performances, his second career hat trick Jan. 29 at DET, and a career-high four assists and five points Feb. 26 at DET (1-4—5). Bunting is seeking to become the 11th player in franchise history to capture the Calder Trophy and just the second to do so in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68), after Matthews in 2016-17.

 

Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings

Seider paced rookie defensemen with 7-43—50, a point total surpassed by only two rookie blueliners over the last 30 years (Quinn Hughes: 8-45—53 in 2019-20 w/ VAN; Vladimir Malakhov: 14‑38—52 in 1992-93 w/ NYI) and just two rookie defensemen in Detroit history (Reed Larson: 19‑41—60 in 1977-78; Nicklas Lidstrom: 11-49—60 in 1991-92). Seider, the sixth overall selection from the 2019 NHL Draft, led all 2021-22 rookies (forwards and defensemen) in assists (43), power-play assists (19) and power-play points (21), while ranking among the top five in shots on goal (3rd; 187), points (4th; 50) and game-winning goals (t-5th; 4). He played in each of the Red Wings’ 82 contests to also lead all rookies in total time on ice (1,889:22) and minutes per game (23:02) – franchise rookie records in both categories (which have been tracked since 1997-98). Detroit’s first Calder Trophy finalist since 2009-10 (Jimmy Howard), Seider is vying to become the sixth player in franchise history to win the award and first since Roger Crozier in 1964-65.

 

Trevor Zegras, C, Anaheim Ducks

Zegras, who dazzled the hockey world with highlight-reel assists and goals, finished second among rookies with 23-38—61 in 75 games – single-season franchise records for assists and points by a rookie, ahead of Cam Fowler (30 in 2010-11) and Bobby Ryan (57 in 2008-09), respectively. The ninth overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft, Zegras topped NHL freshmen with 19 multi-point outings en route to placing among the rookie leaders in power-play goals (1st; 9), game-winning goals (t-1st; 5), goals (t-2nd; 23), assists (3rd; 38), power-play points (3rd; 17), shots on goal (5th; 181), power-play assists (t-6th; 8) and shooting percentage (7th; 12.7%). Zegras, who ranked second in average time on ice by rookie forwards (17:54), also paced all NHL players (rookie or veteran) with six shootout goals. He is the third player in franchise history who has been voted a Calder Trophy finalist, after Paul Kariya (1994-95) and Ryan (2008-09), and is looking to become the first Ducks player to take home the award.

 

History

From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the League’s outstanding rookie. After Calder’s death, the NHL presented the Calder Memorial Trophy in his memory.

 

Announcement Schedule

The three finalists for the 2022 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 20. The series of announcements continues Thursday, May 12, when the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.

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Comments

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Slam dunk for Seider, but I’m obviously biased.

Posted by pnwwing on 05/11/22 at 11:11 AM ET

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I’ll be very disappointed in Seider doesn’t win. His stats are very impressive but what is probably more impressive is his play that doesn’t show up in basic stats.

Posted by evileye on 05/11/22 at 11:23 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

No issues with the finalists here.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/11/22 at 11:40 AM ET

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For anyone who feels sorry for Toronto,
this was a winger who played a good bit for Arizona
last season and then qualified under less common terms for
UFA and walked to his hometown team, a contender at least on paper,
and signed a bargain deal to fit into their cap squeeze.

Doesn’t really compare to a kid like Raymond coming over to NA pro hockey
for the first time and grabbing a top-line spot on a much worse team and helping to carry the weight by playing a solid all-around game, pretty much all season.

Zegras is a talented offensive player and trick shot artist.

This should be as lopsided a vote as there ever is.
Should. But when the competition is a Toronto hometown kid, and a skills specialist
people like for helping to market the game to tweens, it could be closer than makes any sense.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/11/22 at 11:44 AM ET

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...highlighted by 14 multi-point performances, his second career hat trick Jan. 29 at DET, and a career-high four assists and five points Feb. 26 at DET (1-4—5)

Damn, if the Wings could have played some defense they could have erased that entire line from his bio.

Posted by EthrDemon on 05/11/22 at 11:47 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I still remember when they awarded the Calder to career also-ran Barret Jackman instead of Zetterberg.  In that spirit, I fully expect Seider to get overlooked.  Zegras will win it.  He had the dumb parlor tricks after all.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 05/11/22 at 11:54 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Seider should be the selection for any number of on-ice performance reasons, but it would not be unexpected for either of the other two to receive the most votes.

I understand the voting will not be a runoff of the top three, rather based on the voting already done.  I wonder if there would be any different outcome if they voted again based on the top three only.  No matter.  These three seem to have been the most mentioned anyway.

Posted by RWBill on 05/11/22 at 12:17 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Mo does his job, does it very well (never mind that he’s a rookie and he dragged the corpse of DDK around for most of the season), and without the flash of someone like Zegras. I feel like Seider’s offensive game will take off under a new coach and with a year of experience under his belt. I’ll be glad if he wins, and I’ll probably watch the awards show for the first time in a decade, but he’s not the kind of guy who seems to need a lot of accolades. He’ll be winning Norrises in a few years, anyway.

Posted by Steeb on 05/11/22 at 12:54 PM ET

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As somebody mentioned before, the most impressive stat for both Seider and Raymond could be they have not missed a game in their rookie seasons. Seider has more value than Bunting or Zegras as #1 dmen always do over top 6 forwards, but I think Bunting will win the award.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/11/22 at 02:00 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

The arguments for Bunting and zegras (and one for Jeannot) today on twitter are CHOICE.

1. Bunting is old, but so was Jackie Robinson when he was rookie of the year
2. Zegras changed the game and scored highlight reel goals
3. Jeannot’s teammates said he should win the award, so Jeannot should have been nominated and won

If you ever wondered why my screename is “ilovehomers” lol

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/11/22 at 02:56 PM ET

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I’ve watched a lot of Jeannot and he has had quite the impressive rookie campaign. Frankly, he deserves more credit.

However, he’s way behind Seider, in my opinion. Seider faces a much higher level of competition and is already performing better than half the defensive veterans in the league.

Posted by evileye on 05/11/22 at 03:01 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

If Zegras wins, it’ll be because of his flash and trick shot ability. If Bunting wins, it’ll be because he played with Marner and Matthews (both of whom are older than him, btw) all year. If Mo wins, it’s because he’s an exceptional hockey player for his age and experience, and despite dragging the corpse of DDK around all season.

Your call, writers.

Posted by Steeb on 05/11/22 at 03:05 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Cough, Marner and Matthews are YOUNGER than Bunting. Derp.

Posted by Steeb on 05/11/22 at 03:10 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Just like I predicted 5 days ago….

HERE

If the Wings had better PR people especially the coach, ones that highlighted the difference for a rookie playing on the 1st pair/ 1st line vs the 3rd line on the national broadcasts—- then the vote will not have been so close and Raymond would have been a finalist.

My problem isn’t Bunting’s or Zegras’ ages: it’s that they have 26 and 24 games coming into the season. Your team plays you over 9 games in any given season burning one year of your ELC contract then they should burn you Calder eligibility too.

Posted by d ca on 05/11/22 at 04:37 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Dang, Blashill got some right critique but I never saw anyone say he was supposed to cheerlead and rally for his players to be nominated for awards. Lol

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/11/22 at 06:20 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Posted by d ca

Almost as bad as the year Panarin won it, being the max age (26 at the time, I think), AND had like four seasons in the KHL under his belt. The Calder rule is that a candidate can’t have played more than 24 games in the NHL or “any comparable professional league”. If the KHL isn’t a comparable professional league to the NHL, then there isn’t one.

Posted by Steeb on 05/11/22 at 06:40 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Dang, Blashill got some right critique but I never saw anyone say he was supposed to cheerlead and rally for his players to be nominated for awards. Lol

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/11/22 at 06:20 PM ET

And instead of trying to tie up games late in the 3rd period by pulling the goalie and having Moritz on the ice collecting more minuses, he should have kept Seider’s plus/minus at the forefront and not pulled the goalie or kept him on the bench so he wouldn’t get the en minus tacked on his stats.  If Seider doesn’t get the Calder it’s Blash’s fault, for sure.  That’s his job.

Posted by RWBill on 05/11/22 at 07:18 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by RWBill on 05/11/22 at 07:18 PM ET

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/11/22 at 06:20 PM ET

yawn….Any sane person would understands what I was talking about...but it’s always seems to be the same few people that like to troll without providing an example when pushed…

Can’t wait for the new board to block people. 

SIGH, coaches are clearly not cheerleaders…might want to stop reading….here are some direct quotes of those two finalists’ coaches that read otherwise:

“Game-to-game, shift-to-shift, it just became apparent that he was ready for more and was earning more,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said of Bunting. “To see that acknowledgement is a terrific thing (talking about being mentioned for the Calder).”

“It’s terrific for him and his family,” Keefe said of the Calder vote. “It’s a testament to the journey that you’ve been through.

“For a guy like him, it has taken a lot longer. He has had to put in a lot more work. He has had to believe in himself and has had to take advantage of opportunities that come his way, yet he has had to earn those opportunities.

Keefe said a player of Bunting’s style was “made for the playoffs.”

‘‘He (Zegras) has certainly put a lot of eyes on our organization,’’ Dallas Eakins said Tuesday. ‘‘The thing about ‘Z’ is he’s so full of confidence. He believes he can absolutely do anything. It’s a thing that I personally love about him. He obviously can score goals or set up goals by himself, very similar to the young man (Patrick) Kane that you have here. They’re dangerous in their own ways.’’

“It’s not surprising anymore. It’s almost expected that Z is going to make at least one highlight play during the game and Sonny is usually riding shotgun with him.”

Or what Eakins did with the media when it became known Zegras wouldn’t dress for the media hyped match-up against Detroit’s Calder candidates following Zegras’ testing out of COVID protocol:

“In the end, I’m the one who has to make the final decision,” he said. “We talked about it as a staff. We’ve talked to kind of everyone about this. The kid came in and said his piece and, I’ll tell you what, it’s amazing how your love for a player grows every day. For him to be in there slugging it out with me, I’m proud of him. This kid has got an unbelievable passion for the game, and to win.

“We are not putting that kid in that position for one game when we’ve got so many more games left. If he was to get hurt, this would be a massive head-shaker, not only around all of our Ducks fans but across the league, people wondering what we were thinking. We’re going to do what’s right for our team and what’s right for ‘Z,’ and it is the right decision.”

....yeah, coaches never care and never should address their player’s award acknowledgements….and sell their players to the media that is beneath them…they should focus on winning games only….LOL

———————————————————————————-

Posted by Steeb on 05/11/22 at 06:40 PM ET

I’d agree to that stipulation too—the KHL is a different animal. But I really feel if the team burns an ELC contract year: the team should be burning award eligibility for the Calder too.

They definitely need to revisit the trophy’s requirements….even the fact that Alex Nedeljkovic was eligible after being a runner-up the previous year bothered me.

Posted by d ca on 05/12/22 at 12:24 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com