Photo Credit: © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes named Calder Trophy finalist

The news Canucks fans were expecting became officially Wednesday morning.

Quinn Hughes is a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.

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He burst onto the scene for the Canucks in a big way proving the club big jump from the back end. In 68 games this year, he scored eight goals and 53 points becoming the third rearguard since 1943-44 to top all rookies in scoring — the only other two being Brian Leetch in 1988-89 and Bobby Orr in 1966-67.

Those 53 points, too, were the most by any rookie defenceman since 1991-92 when Nick Lindstrom scored 60 in 80 games with Detroit.

In tough matchups, Hughes held his own all season long and was the clubs best defenceman when it came to controlling scoring chances at 5v5. On the ice, he consistently made his teammates better and had very solid isolated impacts on nearly every part of the ice.

To say Hughes has been a revelation is nearly an understatement. He’s changed the makeup of the Vancouver Canucks very quickly and shifted the mindset of what a defender needs to be.

Hughes is looking to become the second straight player to claim the Calder after Elias Pettersson did last year. If Hughes is deemed the winner, it would be the first time since Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson won back-to-back Calder Trophy’s in 196-67 and 1967-68.

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To date, only 12 defencemen have won the Calder with the last being Aaron Ekbald in 2014-15.

Also nominated for the Calder Trophy this year is Colorado Avalanche defenceman Cale Makar and Chicago Blackhawks winger Dominik Kubalik.

On Twitter: @zjlaing