Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues, Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres and Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks were named finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy on Saturday. The award is given annually to the best rookie in the NHL.
The winner will be announced at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone at Mandalay Bay Events Center sports and entertainment complex in Las Vegas on June 19.
Binnington, a 25-year-old goalie, made his first NHL start Jan. 7 and went 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average, a .927 save percentage and five shutouts in 32 games to help the Blues return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs following a one-season absence. He set a Blues record for most wins in a season by a rookie goalie and became the second goalie in the modern era of the NHL (since 1943-44) to have five shutouts in his first 18 regular-season starts, joining Hall of Famer Jacque Plante. He led the NHL in GAA and was fourth in save percentage among goalies having played at least 10 games.
Video: WPG@STL, Gm6: Binnington snares Morrissey's snap shot
Dahlin, a 19-year-old defenseman selected with the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, led rookies at his position in points (44), assists (35) and power-play points (20), and finished second in goals (nine) and average ice time (21:09) behind Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars, who had 12 goals and averaged 23:07 of ice time. Dahlin was the fifth defenseman in NHL history with at least 30 points before his 19th birthday (53 games), and his four game-winning goals were an NHL record for an 18-year-old defenseman. The Sabres controlled 51.95 percent of all shots with Dahlin on the ice, and he was tied for third on the Sabres in takeaways (38), and fifth in blocked shots (66) and hits (97).
Video: BUF@DET: Dahlin buries PPG through traffic in front
Pettersson, a 20-year-old center, finished his first NHL season with a Canucks rookie-record 66 points (28 goals, 38 assists) in 71 games, passing Pavel Bure (1991-92) and Ivan Hlinka (1981-82), who each had 60 points. He is the 31st player in NHL history to end a season leading rookies in goals, assists, and points, and the first since Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015-16 (30 goals, 47 assists, 77 points in 80 games). Pettersson also set a Canucks rookie record with seven game-winning goals. Vancouver controlled 50.14 of all shots attempted with Pettersson on the ice.
Video: VAN@STL: Pettersson nets PPG to tie it late