Connor McDavid won’t be bringing any hardware home from Las Vegas, but the Oilers rookie will still have fond memories of his first NHL Awards experience.
McDavid was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top rookie, but Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin ultimately claimed the honour.
Panarin took the prize with 1258 total vote points, including 88 first-place selections. Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere received 955 points and 35 first-place votes, while McDavid landed just behind him in third with 858 points and 25 first-place nods.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m just happy to be in Vegas,” McDavid said of not winning the award. “It was a good rookie class, so it’s good for (Panarin)… It was just cool to be here and experience this.”
The centreman was, however, named to the NHL All-Rookie Team, alongside Panarin, Gostisbehere, Jack Eichel, Colton Parayko and John Gibson.
The focus now shifts to next season for McDavid, who is looking forward to being one of the first players to grace the ice at brand new Rogers Place.
“I’m excited about being in the new building, it’s going to be beautiful,” he said. “Edmonton fans deserve it, and hopefully we’ll put together a good year for them. They’ve been waiting a long time.”