RALEIGH, NC – Tonight at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League’s rookie of the year. Skinner is the first player in Carolina’s franchise history to be named the league’s top rookie.
Skinner, who turned 19 on May 16, completed his first NHL season in 2010-11, and ranked first among league rookies in points (63), second in assists (32) and third in goals (31). The Markham, Ont., native was tied for second among NHL rookies in power-play assists (12) and power-play points (18), and trailed only Eric Staal among Hurricanes skaters in goals and points. Skinner (5’11”, 193 lbs.) scored his 30th goal on April 6 against Detroit, becoming the youngest player in franchise history and the seventh-youngest player in NHL history to score 30 goals (18 years, 325 days). Thirteen of Skinner’s 30 goals came in the third period, leading all Carolina skaters, and the Hurricanes were 20-4-2 when Skinner found the net in 2010-11.
Skinner was named the NHL’s rookie of the month in January after tallying nine goals and five assists (14 points) and a plus-6 rating in 14 games. He became the youngest All-Star in NHL history when he skated for Team Staal at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center at the age of 18 years, 259 days, breaking the record set by Steve Yzerman (18 years, 267 days) in 1984. Skinner made his NHL debut for the Hurricanes on Oct. 7, 2010, against the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland, and became the youngest player in franchise history to earn a point the next night. He became the youngest player in team history to score a goal when he beat Jonathan Bernier for his first NHL goal on Oct. 20 in Los Angeles. Skinner’s 31 goals rank as the second-most by a rookie in franchise history, behind Sylvain Turgeon’s 40-goal rookie season in 1983-84.
The Calder Memorial Trophy is presented annually to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the NHL. The award is voted on by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season. Skinner beat out fellow nominees Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks) and Michael Grabner (New York Islanders) in this year’s voting. In May, he was named The Sporting News’ rookie of the year in a vote among NHL players.