The 2014 NHL Awards ceremony will be held in Las Vegas on Tuesday June 24, 2014. Here are some choice GIFs of finalists for various categories. This post will focus on the Calder Memorial Trophy finalists.
The Trophy: According to the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame, the Calder Memorial Trophy is named for Frank Calder, who was once president of the NHL and is awarded to the "player judged to be the most proficient in his first season."
The Selections: "Winner selected in a poll by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular schedule."
Previous Winners: A year-by-year list of previous winners can be found here. Last year, Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau won. The year before that, current Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog took home the honors. The first receipient of the award was Carl Voss of the 1923-24 Detroit Red Wings.
2014 Finalists: The finalists for the 2013-14 season are all forwards, and 2/3 are from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning, undrafted, age 23.
- Johnson was the AHL MVP last year (2012-13) when he played with Tampa's AHL affiliate, the Syracause Crunch.
- He was signed as an undrafted UFA - the last undrafted player to be a Calder finalist was Ed Belfour in 1991.
- This year, he set a new Lightning record for goals by a rookie with 24.
- His 24 goals were tied with Nathan MacKinnon for most among rookies this season.
- Johnson tied for the overall League lead in shorthanded goals (five) and tallied five power-play goals, becoming the second rookie in NHL history to record five of each in one season (Dennis Maruk, 1975-76).
- He also led all rookies in total ice time (1,540:20) and face-offs (1,275).
- Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche, drafted 1st overall, age 18.
- MacKinnon led the NHL in almost every rookie scoring category this year: 63 points, 3 assists, 8 power play goals, 241 shots, and tied for first in rookie goals with 24 and rookie game-wnning goals with 5.
- He broke Wayne Gretzky's record for the longest point streak by an 18 year old player at 13 games from January 25 through March 6, in which he had 5 goals, 13 assists, and 18 points.
- Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning, drafted 208th overall, age 23.
- Palat finished in the top ten in voting for the "golden stick" award given to the best Czech player each year (Jaromir Jagr won his 11th this year.)
- This year, Palat's 59 points were second among rookies.
- He nearly tied a Lightning rookie record for points in a season.
- In the second half of the season, he lead all rookies in scoring after Jan. 1 with 17 goals and 44 points in 42 games. He ahd 14 multiple-point games.
- Palat war NHL Rookie of the Month in January and March
- He set the record for longest point streak by a Lightning rookie with points in 8 games from December 23 to January 9.
- He had the highest plus/minus of all rookies with a +32.
The Favorite To Win: Nathan MacKinnon