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Couture Is A Runner-Up For the Calder

by Tony Khing / San Jose Sharks
Center Logan Couture can take solace in knowing he finished a close second in the voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the 2011 National Hockey League’s rookie of the year.

The 22-year-old lost out on the award to Carolina’s Jeff Skinner. The Calder was presented tonight at the 2011 NHL Awards Show, which was held at the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. The third finalist for the 2011 Calder was the Islanders Michael Grabner.

Despite not receiving the Calder, Couture was one of six players named to the 2010-11 NHL All-Rookie Team. Others on the team include Skinner and Grabner as well as Chicago’s Corey Crawford, Washington’s John Carlson and P.K. Subban of Montreal.

Couture is the third Sharks player to be selected as a finalist for the Calder. He joins 2001 award winner Evgeni Nabokov and Brad Stuart (2000). He’s the first Shark selected to the All-Rookie Team since Matt Carle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic in 2006-07. Other Sharks who’ve been named to the NHL All-Rookie Team include Nabokov (2001), Stuart (2000) and Jeff Friesen (1995).

“It’s an honor to be here and to be nominated for this award is special,” Couture said from Las Vegas after the NHL Awards Show. “To finish second in the balloting for the award is amazing.”

Couture barely lost the voting to Skinner. Couture was first on 41 ballots and received 908 points. On the other hand, Skinner received 94 of 127 first place votes and 1,055 points. Skinner’s margin of victory was the smallest in Calder Memorial Trophy voting since St. Louis’ Barret Jackman edged out Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg, 506-462, in 2003.

Voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy and the NHL All-Rookie Team is done at the end of the regular season by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Couture played his first full NHL season in 2010-11. He was second on the Sharks in goals (32) and points (56). Couture’s 22 road goals were fourth in the NHL and the second-most in franchise history. He became the 23rd rookie to score 20-plus road goals.

During the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Couture was tied for fourth among postseason performers in goals (seven) and had a point in six of the last eight games (seven points and five goals).

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