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NHL Awards staff picks: Calder Trophy

Panarin, McDavid, Gostisbehere finalists for award given to top rookie @NHL

The 2016 NHL Awards will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 22, and staffers will be providing their selections for the winners.

The Calder Trophy is awarded "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition." The finalists for the 2015-16 season are Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Here are's staff picks for the Calder Trophy:

Amalie Benjamin, Staff Writer

Artemi Panarin: Had Connor McDavid played a full season in the NHL, this award likely would have gone to him. But he didn't, and it's hard to ignore the numbers put up by Panarin (30 goals, 47 assists), even with the caveat of his seven seasons in the KHL prior to coming to the League.

Video: NHL Tonight looks at some of the best rookies

Brian Compton, Deputy Managing Editor 

Artemi Panarin: Panarin was never drafted, but he sure looked like a top-3 pick. The 24-year-old had wonderful chemistry with Patrick Kane and scored 30 goals (including seven game-winners). His 77 points were 21 more than the next-closest rookie, Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

Nick Cotsonika, Columnist 

Artemi Panarin: Connor McDavid played little more than half of the season because of injury, and Panarin had six more goals and 21 more points than any other rookie.

Tom Gulitti, Staff Writer

Artemi Panarin: One of the biggest tests for rookies is maintaining their level of play over the long grind of the NHL's regular season and Panarin, 24, was the most consistent rookie in the League from start to finish. The Blackhawks left wing ran away with the rookie scoring race with 77 points and also led all rookies with 30 goals, 47 assists, seven game-winning goals and 24 power-play points.

Adam Kimelman, Deputy Managing Editor 

Connor McDavid: Despite playing 45 games McDavid was fourth among rookies with 48 points, and his 1.07 points-per-game average was third among all players behind Kane (1.29) and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars (1.09). Had he not missed three months because of a broken clavicle, McDavid likely would have ranked among the League's top scorers and been a lock for the award.

Video: VAN@EDM: McDavid puts puck past Markstrom for a PPG

Mike Morreale, Staff Writer

Artemi Panarin: Panarin has been the one constant on this ever-changing list all season. He led all rookies with 30 goals, 47 assists, 77 points, 24 power-play points and seven game-winning goals.

Shawn Roarke, Director Editorial  

Artemi Panarin: This likely is the closest race of all the awards. Was Panarin the best rookie during the 2015-16 season? That's debatable. Was he the most proficient, which is the criteria for this award? That's easier to answer. Panarin led all rookies in scoring with 77 points in 80 games and played major minutes for a team that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Dan Rosen, Senior Writer 

Artemi Panarin: He was the best rookie from start to finish this season. Panarin led all rookies with 30 goals, 47 assists and 77 points, and had 21 more points than any other rookie. He scored seven game-winning goals and averaged 18:31 of ice time per game

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