The NHL announced the three finalists for the Calder Trophy on Friday morning, as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, and it might come as a shock to some that no members of the Philadelphia Flyers made the cut. Instead, the three finalists:
- Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
- Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
This shouldn't be shocking. When it comes to voting for the Calder Trophy, at least when we're talking about forwards, voters pick those with the highest point totals. There has been one exception since the lockout to this rule, when Jordan Staal ranked sixth in rookie scoring in 2006-07 and earned a nomination, but otherwise, every single forward that's earned a nomination has ranked atop that rookie leaderboard.
There are extremely valid criticisms of that thinking, as it doesn't take into consideration the unbelievable defensive contributions that some rookies put in. We believe Sean Couturier should have at least been in the conversation for the Calder Trophy, considering his unbelievable defensive year. We've seen it spotlighted in these playoffs so far, but Couturier has been facing top competition (and has shut down top competition) all year long.
But since it all does come down to scoring, Matt Read was also left out of the top-3. Read finished fourth in rookie scoring behind the three finalists listed above, even though he led all rookies with 24 goals scored.