Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews,Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski were named finalists for the Calder Trophy on Thursday. The award is given to the best rookie in the NHL.
The winner will be announced at the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on June 21 (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).
[RELATED: Complete guide to NHL Trophies and all-time winners]
Matthews, 19, the first pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, tied for second in the League with 40 goals, and led rookies in goals, points (69) and shots on goal (279). He became the first player in the modern era of the NHL (1943-44) to score four goals in his first NHL game, and is the first rookie to score 40 goals in a season since Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals had 52 in 2005-06. Matthews also set Maple Leafs rookie records for goals and points in a season. Wendel Clark scored 34 goals in 1985-86, and Peter Ihnacak had 66 points in 1982-83.
Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Matthews pots first playoff goal
Laine, who turned 19 on Wednesday, had 64 points (36 goals, 28 assists) in 73 games. The second pick of the 2016 draft, Laine was second among rookies in goals and points, and led the Jets in goals. His 36 goals are the seventh-most in NHL history by an 18-year-old player, and the most since Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins had 39 in 2005-06, according to Quanthockey.com. Wayne Gretzky, who turned 19 halfway through the 1979-80 season, set the record with 51.
Video: WPG@STL: Laine slots home rebound for his 35th goal
Werenski, 19, led all rookie defensemen in goals (11), assists (36) and points (47), and all rookies with a plus-17 rating. He averaged 20:54 of ice time per game in 78 games. His 47 points are the second-most ever by a Blue Jackets defenseman, after James Wisniewski, who had 51 in 2013-14, and the most ever by a Blue Jackets rookie, eclipsing the 39 points Rick Nash had in 2002-03. Werenski was selected by the Blue Jackets with the eighth pick of the 2015 draft.
Video: CBJ@PHI: Werenski buries one-timer through traffic