Photo Credit: NHL.com

Elias Pettersson named finalist for Calder Trophy

To the surprise of no one, Elias Pettersson has been nominated for the Calder Trophy.

The 20-year-old rookie phenom has been named a finalist for the coveted award alongside Buffalo Sabres’ blueliner Rasmus Dahlin and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

The Calder Trophy, also known as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year award, is an annual award given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League (NHL).”

Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars was believed to be in the conversation, but ultimately missed out on a nomination. Brady Tkachuk of the Senators also had a great debut season in Ottawa.

Pettersson had a fantastic season for Vancouver, dazzling on a nightly basis and leading all NHL rookies in scoring with 66 points (28 goals) in 71 games. He had the Canucks competing for playoff position as late as February and brought excitement back to the city of Vancouver.

He also scored one of the filthiest goals of the entire 2018-19 NHL season:

Pettersson is believed to be the frontrunner for the award, but Binnington and Dahlin are certainly respectable competitors.

Binnington helped turned the Blues’ season around when he was called up in January and posted a 24-5-1 record with a .927 save percentage in 30 starts.

Dahlin led all rookie defensemen with 44 points (nine goals) in 82 games.

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Pettersson has the edge simply due to his domination. He led his team in goals (28), assists (38) and points (66). He also had multiple five-point games and surpassed Pavel Bure’s franchise rookie scoring record. Binnington is 25 years old and likely didn’t play enough to warrant enough first-place votes. While Dahlin was terrific, it’s hard to argue that he had more of an impact on the Sabres than Pettersson had on the Canucks.

The NHL Awards are on Wednesday, June 19 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Oops posted accidentally.
    Three worthy candidates.
    Not supposed to count playoffs but Binnington’s continued strong play will influence some voters. As well Dahlin played in the east where the votes are. Pettersson had the hype, replaced the Sedins by himself, but Binnington had the greatest impact on his team. So could be a close vote. Fingers crossed for Petey. Though if he doesn’t win it I suspect it will further motivate him. He’s special and seems to relish being underestimated.

      • arjay

        Re Binnington…the award stipulates a “first year” player…B is 25\26 and is not a true pro rookie…imo, the award s b for true pro rookies.

        I would support B for the Hart if he had played more games….from last to first once he got called up…..but a 6/7 year pro is not a rookie, imo.

        Petey s b the Calder winner but the award caare

        • Goon

          Are you saying Binnington shouldn’t be Calder-eligible because he played in the AHL? By that logic, neither should Pettersson, as he played in the SHL last year and in the Allsvenskan (Swedish AHL) for the two seasons before that.

          Very few players go straight from Junior / NCAA to the NHL with no other professional experience in between. None of the three nominees this year did – Rasmus Dahlin played two years in the SHL before coming to the NHL this year, as well.

  • kermit

    You also have to consider the circumstances they played under. Billington solved a goal tending problem on what was thought to be a cup contender at the start of the season. Petey played for a non-contender that didn’t have a lot of secondary scoring. Other teams could load up their D on him.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Of course this should be Petey’s award to win. Unfortunately the eastern writers voting on it know nothing or no one west of the lake head. That I don’t like.

    • canuckfan

      I think he got some good eastern coverage around New Years when he had that great game in Ottawa but was then injured in Montreal and not able to play in Toronto but had an interview on HNC coverage for the Toronto game. So he has had coverage but when he tailed off his name was still out there and I think the shoot out goal got him back in the lime light. If he doesn’t win it will go to the St Louis goalie who will likely have to colour his hair so people can picture him as a rookie rather than 5 year pro.

  • Kootenaydude

    I think it was dumb of the NHL to nominate a 25 year old that hasn’t even played a half season. The league is getting younger and real rookies are already into their second or third contract. Makes no sense.