Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes’ incredible rookie year didn’t land him the Calder Trophy.
Colorado Avalanche defenceman Cale Makar was named the winner of the award.
Hughes, 20, received 1337 points to Makar’s 1538. Makar ran away with 116 first-place votes compared to Hughes’ 53.
Hughes burst onto the season with a wildly impressive season and helped push the Canucks on a 17-game playoff run. In the pandemic-shortened regular season, Hughes scored eight goals and 53 points in 68 games.
This year he became 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.
Driving play at 5v5, Hughes consistently made his teammates better with impressive isolated impacts on nearly every part of the ice.
An absolute revelation for the Canucks organization, Hughes has helped shift the mindset of what a top defenceman needs to be. If Hughes had won, it would’ve be the first time since Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson won back-to-back Calder Trophies in 1966-67 and 1967-68.
This year, Hughes’ 45 assists broke the organizations rookie assist record and was on pace to break the overall rookie scoring record. Those assists broke Dale Tallon’s record of 42, and was two points shy of Elias Pettersson’s 66 point rookie scoring record.
To date, only 12 defensemen have won the Calder with the last being Aaron Ekbald in 2014-15.
Also up for the Calder Trophy was Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik.
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