|Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau celebrates a goal at the BB&T Center (Getty Images).
SUNRISE, Fla. – The National Hockey League announced today that Florida Panthers C Jonathan Huberdeau has been named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition,” along with Montreal Canadiens RW Brendan Gallagher and Chicago Blackhawks LW Brandon Saad.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, with more detail on format to be released at a later date.
Huberdeau, 19, completed his freshman campaign in the National Hockey League tied for first among the league’s rookie leaders with 31 points, while placing third in goals (14) and tied for fourth in assists (17). Additionally, he placed first among rookie forwards averaging 16:55 TOI/per game and ranked third among rookies in shots (112). He ranked second on the Panthers with 31 points, while recording seven multi-point games and was one of four Florida players to play in all 48 games.
“Jonathan played very well for our club during his rookie season and is most deserving of this honor,” said Florida Panthers Executive VP/GM Dale Tallon. “He is a young, skilled and dynamic player who was matched up against the opposing team’s best players on a nightly basis. Jonathan handled himself with professionalism and class throughout the season and we are very proud that he has received this recognition.”
The Saint-Jerome, Quebec native was named the league’s rookie of the month for February after recording six goals and three assists in 13 games played. Huberdeau tied a Panthers rookie record, while registering a career best four-point (2-2-4) effort on Feb. 21 at Philadelphia, including scoring the game-winner on a penalty shot. He became the first Panthers player to score on two penalty shots in one season, recording his second penalty shot goal on Mar. 5 vs. Carolina.
With 12 goals scored in the first 25 games played during his rookie season, Huberdeau joined Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Teemu Selanne as the only active players to accomplish this feat.
Huberdeau was drafted by Florida in the first round (third overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the NHL’s outstanding rookie. After Calder’s death, the League presented the Calder Trophy in his memory.
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