Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes were named finalists for the Calder Trophy on Sunday. The award is given to the best rookie in the NHL.
The winner will be announced at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 20.
Video: Barzal, Boeser, Keller are Calder trophy nominees
Barzal was chosen by the Islanders with the No. 16 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old center led all rookies with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists), 20 more than the next closest player (Keller). He's the seventh rookie in League history with at least 20 points and 60 assists in one season and the first since Sidney Crosby with the Pittsburgh Penguins (102 points; 39 goals, 63 assists) in 2005-06. Barzal had three five-point games this season, making him the second rookie to do so; the other was Joe Malone with the Montreal Canadiens in 1917-18, the NHL's first season. He would be the fifth player in Islanders history to win the Calder and first since defenseman Bryan Berard in 1996-97.
Boeser, a 21-year-old right wing, was selected by the Canucks with the No. 23 pick in 2015. He finished second among rookies in goals (29) and fifth in points (55) in 62 games; he missed the final 16 games of the season because of a back injury sustained in a game against the Islanders on March 5. Two Canucks rookies have scored more goals in one season: Pavel Bure (34 in 1991-92) and Trevor Linden (30 in 1988-89). Boeser, the MVP of the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game, would be the first Vancouver player since Bure in 1992 to win the Calder and the second since the franchise entered the NHL in 1970.
Keller was the No. 7 pick of the Coyotes in the 2016 NHL Draft. The 19-year-old center had 65 points (23 goals, 42 assists), second among NHL rookies and most by a Coyotes rookie since the franchise relocated from Winnipeg to Arizona in 1996. His 10-game point streak (14 points; five goals, nine assists) from March 11-28 tied for the third-longest in franchise history. Keller joins Calder winners Dale Hawerchuk (1981-82) and Teemu Selanne (1992-93) as the third finalist in Jets/Coyotes history.