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Calder Trophy

Calder Trophy winner to be announced

Kaprizov, Robertson, Nedeljkovic up for award given to top rookie in NHL

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

2020-21 Calder Trophy Finalists

Calder Trophy finalists announced

Kirill Kaprizov, Alex Nedeljkovic and Jason Robertson have been named finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy

  • 02:51 •

Winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be announced throughout the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.

The winner of the Calder Trophy will be announced Tuesday during a 30-minute show (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS) in which the five remaining regular-season trophies will be awarded.

Here is a look at the three finalists:

Kirill Kaprizov, Jason Robertson and Alex Nedeljkovic were named finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

The award is given annually to the best rookie in the NHL as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Kaprizov, a 24-year-old forward, led NHL rookies in goals (27), points (51), power-play goals (eight) and shots on goal (157) in 55 games for the Minnesota Wild. He finished second in even-strength points (38) and power-play points (13), and was tied for third in plus/minus rating (plus-10). He led the Wild in goals, points, points per game (0.93) and overtime goals (two), and scored three game-winning goals. Kaprizov, who averaged 18:18 of ice time per game and had a shooting percentage of 17.2 percent, scored the most goals, assists and points by a rookie in Wild history.

"I think just dealing with him he's a lot like (what) we're trying to build here with the franchise," Wild coach Dean Evason said. "It's great to get recognized but his ultimate goal is to win and win a Stanley Cup. He says all the right things and does all the right things. I'm not surprised that he's extremely humble with that."

Kaprizov, who led Minnesota (35-16-5) to a third-place finish in the Honda West Division and a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, would be the first Wild player to win the award.

"Obviously, [winning] would make it a little bit easier, having such a tough season and leaving in the first round of the playoffs, obviously it would make things a little bit better," Kaprizov said. "But honestly I'm the type of person that doesn't really look for personal accolades. I'd much rather have the team win and have the team do better than my own personal gains."

Robertson, a 21-year-old forward, led NHL rookies in assists (28) and even-strength points (39), and was tied for first in plus/minus (plus-13) in 51 games for the Dallas Stars. He was second in points (45) and tied for second in goals (17). Robertson was second on the Stars in points behind Joe Pavelski (51) and third in shots on goal (127) in 16:53 of ice time per game.

Robertson would be the third Stars/Minnesota North Stars player to win the award, joining Bobby Smith in 1978-79 and Danny Grant in 1968-69.

Nedeljkovic, a 25-year-old goalie, was 15-5-3 for the Carolina Hurricanes and tied for the NHL rookie lead in shutouts (three) with Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders. Nedeljkovic's 1.90 goals-against average and .932 save percentage led all NHL goalies who played at least 20 games. He allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of his 23 starts and helped the Hurricanes (36-12-8) finish first in the eight-team Discover Central Division.

"I mean, we wouldn't be where we are right now without him," Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. "From that standpoint, we're thrilled for him. He's grinded in the [American Hockey League] for a while, got his chance this year. He took full advantage of it. We're thrilled for him. It's awesome to see him have the success he's had and be named as a finalist."

Nedeljkovic would be the second Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers player to win the award and first since Jeff Skinner in 2010-11. He also would be the first goalie to win the Calder since Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008-09.

"I think it's great, I think it's deserved," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "He had a great year for us, no question about it. I'm happy for him to get recognized. … It's well deserved."

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar won the Calder Trophy last season. staff writer Tracey Myers and independent correspondent Jessi Pierce contributed to this report

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