Jonathan Huberdeau capped off a stellar season by taking home the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy awarded to the league’s most outstanding rookie. He became the first Panther to ever win the award and he edged out Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher and Chicago’s Brandon Saad who finished second and third respectively.
Here is a look at the voting breakdown:
Huberdeau tied Nail Yakupov as the rookie scoring leader with 31 points. Those 31 points were the most ever by a Panther rookie besting Radek Dvorak who scored 27 points in the 1995-96 season. That stat is all the more amazing when you consider the shortened schedule Huberdeau had to work with. On winning the award, Huberdeau said, “It was a surprise. There were two other guys who had great rookie years. I wasn’t expecting anything. I’m pretty happy.”
Looking at the above voting breakdown, it is interesting to note that Huberdeau was not the only Panther to receive first place votes. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom finished 14th in the voting receiving one third place vote and two fifth place votes. Drew Shore got into the action as well receiving one fifth place vote. While last season was unsuccessful for the Panthers, having the rookie of the year and two other players who merited consideration is a positive sign for things to come.
Winning the Calder Memorial Trophy is obviously a good indicator of future NHL successes. The last five previous winners are Gabriel Landeskog, Jeff Skinner, Tyler Myers, Steve Mason and Patrick Kane. It will be fascinating to see how Huberdeau develops over the next few years and to see how the Panthers develop around him. With all of their young talent, the Panthers have the potential to have numerous players reaching their peaks at the same time.
In other awards news, Alex Ovechkin was the surprise Hart Trophy winner besting Sidney Crosby and John Tavares. P.K. Subban took home the Norris Trophy, Sergei Bobrovsky won the Veznia and Sidney Crosby won the Ted Lindsay Award.