ST. PAUL -- The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov is a finalist for the 2020-21 Calder Memorial Trophy. The Calder Memorial Trophy is presented annually to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition. The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards, presented by Bridgestone, will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Kaprizov, 24, led the Wild and NHL rookies with 51 points (27-24=51) in 55 games this season. He also led the team and League rookies in goals, even-strength goals (19), power-play goals (8) and shots on goal (157), ranked T-1st in overtime goals (2), second in assists, even-strength points (38) and power-play points (13), T-3rd in plus/minus rating (plus-10) and T-4th in game-winning goals (3). Per NHL Stats, the 5-foot-11, 201-pound forward is one of four rookies since 1992-93 to lead a team in points during the regular season, while helping them qualify for the playoffs: Auston Matthews (2016-17), Filip Forsberg (2014-15) and Trent Hunter (2003-04). He set franchise rookie records for most goals, PPG, EVG, OTG, assists, points, EVP and multi-point games (13). The left-shot winger also set franchise rookie records with a three PPP night (2-1=3) April 7 vs. COL, a six-game point streak (5-5=10) from April 29-May 8, a four-game multi-point game streak from May 3-8 and a five-game goal streak (6g) from April 17-24. The native of Novokuznetsk, Russia began the season with three points (2-1=3) in his NHL debut at LA on Jan. 14 to become the third player in NHL history to score an OT goal in his debut while his three points were the most by a Wild player in his debut. He netted his first career hat trick on March 12 vs. ARI to become the second Wild rookie to do so (Justin Fontaine, 1/9/14) and the third Wild player to score all three goals in the same period (Zach Parise, 3/24/16 in the first & Jason Zucker, 11/9/17 in the third). He was named NHL's First Star of the Week on Jan. 18 and the Second Star of the Week on May 10.
Kaprizov collected three points (2-1=3) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. He made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut on May 16 at VGK and scored his first playoff goal in Game 5 on May 24. He became the seventh Wild rookie to score a playoff goal, second to net a PPG and ranks T-2nd in playoff goals and T-3rd in playoff scoring amongst Wild rookies.
Kaprizov is the Wild's first-ever Calder Memorial Trophy finalist and the seventh player to be named a finalist for a Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) award, joining Lady Byng finalist Mikael Granlund (2017), Bill Masterton winners Devan Dubnyk (2015) and Josh Harding (2013), James Norris finalist Ryan Suter (2013) and Frank J. Selke finalists Mikko Koivu (2017) and Wes Walz (2003).
Kaprizov was selected by the Wild in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Since 1970, he could become the 10th Calder Memorial Trophy winner to be drafted in the fifth round or later of the NHL Entry Draft: Willi Plett (Round 5, No. 80 in 1975), Steve Larmer (Round 6, No. 120 in 1980), Gary Suter (Round 9, No. 180 in 1984), Luc Robitaille (Round 9, No. 171 in 1984), Sergei Makarov (Round 12, No. 231 in 1983), Pavel Bure (Round 6, No. 113 in 1989), Daniel Alfredsson (Round 6, No. 133 in 1994), Evgeni Nabokov (Round 9, No. 219 in 1994), and Andrew Raycroft (Round 5, No. 135 in 1998).
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic and Dallas Stars left wing Jason Robertson are the other finalists for the 2021 Calder Memorial Trophy. Members of the PHWA submit ballots for the Calder Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The trophy was first awarded in 1932-33 to Detroit's Carl Voss. From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the League's outstanding rookie. After Calder's death, the NHL presents the Calder Memorial Trophy in his memory.