In the first of ten NHL Award finalist announcements that will occur over the next two weeks, the NHL announced the Calder Trophy top three as Logan Couture of San Jose, Jeff Skinner of Carolina, and Michel Grabner of the Islanders.
All three players will attend the NHL Award show at the Pearle Theater at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas on June 22 where the winner will be revealed.
It was thought that Grabner's chances may have been hurt by the three New York Area chapters of the PHWA deciding not to vote as a protest against the Isles removing credentials from Chris Botta.
Players that weren't named but were considered by voters include, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky from Philadelphia, goalie Correy Crawford from Chicago, defenseman Cam Fowler from the Ducks, 2010 Entry draft fist pick Taylor Hall of the Oilers, Center Brad Marchand of Boston, latecomer goalie James Reimer of Toronto, goalie Michal Neuvirth of the Capitals. Tyler Ennis of Buffalo, Derek Stephan of the Rangers, Jordan Eberle of the Oilers.and Kevin Shattenkirk of St. Louis.
After the jump is the full press release from the NHL...
COUTURE, GRABNER AND SKINNER NAMED CALDER TROPHY FINALISTS
NEW YORK (April 19, 2011) -- San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner and Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner are the three finalists for the 2010-11 Calder 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 winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Couture was a key contributor in all areas on a Sharks team that captured its fourth consecutive Pacific Division title. The 22-year-old center ranked second on San Jose in goals (32), game-winning goals (eight) and plus-minus (+18); placed third in shots (253) and face-offs (888); fourth in power-play goals (10) and sixth in points (56). He led all rookies in game-winning goals, power-play goals, shots and face-offs, finished second in goals and points and was fifth in plus-minus. The Sharks' first-round pick in the 2007 Entry Draft tallied seven of his game-winning goals on the road, the most ever by an NHL rookie.
Michael Grabner, New York Islanders
Grabner didn't start the season with the Islanders, but ended it as the club's goals leader with 34, a total that also led NHL rookies. Claimed on waivers from Florida on Oct. 5, Grabner surged near the top of the rookie scoring race with a run of 16 goals in 15 games from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, a period also highlighted by a first-place finish in the Fastest Skater event at the 2011 NHL SuperSkills. His six-game goal streak from Feb. 1-15 matched the longest by any player this season. The 23-year-old Villach, Austria native led all rookies in shorthanded goals (six), ranked second in shots (228) and seventh in plus-minus (+13).
Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes reaped immediate dividends from their top pick in the 2010 Entry Draft as the 18-year-old Skinner, selected seventh overall last June, led all rookies in scoring as the League's youngest player. His performance over the first half of the season earned him a berth in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, played in front of a hometown crowd in Raleigh. He went on to lead all rookies in points (63), rank second in assists (32) and third in goals (31). Skinner netted his 30th goal of the season Apr. 6 against Detroit, becoming the seventh-youngest player in NHL history to reach the milestone (18 years, 325 days).
From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the NHL’s outstanding rookie. After Calder’s death, the League presented the Calder Trophy in his memory.
The NHL will announce the three finalists for each of its awards daily. The remaining announcement schedule:
Wednesday, April 20 General Manager of the Year
Thursday, April 21 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (skill/sportsmanship)
Friday, April 22 Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)
Monday, April 25 James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman)
Tuesday, April 26 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Wednesday, April 27 Frank Selke Trophy (top defensive forward)
Thursday, April 28 Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)
Friday, April 29 Jack Adams Award (top head coach)
Monday, May 2 NHL Foundation Player Award (contributions to charitable causes)
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