The NHL has unveiled the finalists for the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s most outstanding rookie. This year’s nominees are a diverse group, representing three different positions and three different franchises. In the running for the prestigious award are Seattle Kraken forward Matty Beniers, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power, and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner.
Matty Beniers, a 20-year-old forward, was drafted second overall by the Kraken in 2021. In his debut season, Beniers played in 80 games, netting 24 goals and adding 33 assists for a total of 57 points. He also achieved a +14 rating and only accumulated 2 penalty minutes throughout the entire season. If Beniers claims the Calder Trophy, he will become the first player within the first two seasons of an expansion team’s tenure to do so since Peter Stastny accomplished the feat with the Quebec Nordiques in the 1980-1981 season.
The second finalist, Owen Power, is a 20-year-old defenseman who was selected first overall in the 2021 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Power played in 79 games this season, scoring 4 goals and contributing 31 assists for a total of 35 points. He also maintained a +10 rating and recorded 24 penalty minutes. If Power wins the award, he will become the fourth Calder Trophy winner in Sabres history.
The final nominee is Stuart Skinner, a 24-year-old goaltender for the Edmonton Oilers. This season, Skinner started 48 games, earning 29 wins and posting a goals-against average (GAA) of 2.75 with a save percentage (SV%) of .914, along with one shutout. Should Skinner secure the Calder Trophy, he will become the first player in Oilers history to receive the prestigious accolade.
The Calder Trophy race is shaping up to be a thrilling one, with each of these talented rookies showcasing their unique skills and contributions to their respective teams. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards ceremony later this year, solidifying their place among the league’s brightest young stars.