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Calder Memorial Trophy and Jack Adams Award finalists announced

League’s top rookies and coaches get well-deserved noms

Vancouver Canucks v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The National Hockey League announced finalists for both the Calder Memorial Trophy - “awarded to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition” - and the Jack Adams Award -presented to the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success” - yesterday. This follows Tuesday’s announcement of the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award. Today, the league will announce the finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which was won by Aleksander Barkov last year.

Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Quinn Hughes, D, Vancouver Canucks

Hughes posted 8-45-53 in 68 games to become the third defenseman in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to top all rookies in scoring (outright or tied), joining Brian Leetch (1988-89 w/ NYR) and Bobby Orr (1966-67 w/ BOS). His 53 points were the most by any rookie blueliner since 1991-92, when Nicklas Lidstrom compiled 11-49-60 in 80 appearances (w/ DET), and three shy of Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon’s single-season franchise record for a rookie defenseman, set in 10 more games in 1970-71 (14-42—56 in 78 GP). Hughes also led all 2019-20 rookies in assists (45), power-play assists (22) and power-play points (25), while ranking among the top five in average time on ice (2nd; 21:53), total time on ice (2nd; 1,488:09) and shots on goal (5th; 126). The 20-year-old Orlando, Fla., native is looking to become the second straight Canucks player to claim the Calder Trophy, following Elias Pettersson in 2018-19. The last team to boast consecutive Calder Trophy winners was the Boston Bruins, in 1966-67 (Orr) and 1967-68 (Derek Sanderson).

Dominik Kubalik, LW, Chicago Blackhawks

Kubalik led all rookies with 30 goals in 68 games (30-16-46), making him the fifth rookie in Blackhawks history to reach the 30-goal milestone after Steve Larmer (43 in 1982-83), Darryl Sutter (40 in 1980-81), Eric Daze (30 in 1995‑96) and Artemi Panarin (30 in 2015-16). The 24-year-old Plzen, Czech Republic, native became the first Czech-born player in NHL history to pace rookies in goals as well as the third to reach the 30‑goal plateau, joining Petr Klima (32 in 1985-86) and Petr Prucha (30 in 2005-06). Kubalik, who topped all 2019-20 rookies and ranked seventh in the entire NHL with a 19.1 shooting percentage, also placed among the top 10 freshmen in shots on goal (1st; 157), points (3rd; 46), power-play goals (t-6th; 4), game-winning goals (t‑6th; 3), assists (t-9th; 16) and power-play points (t-10th; 8). He is vying to become the first Czech-born player to earn the Calder Trophy as well as the 10th Blackhawks player to capture the award, following recent winners Panarin (2015-16) and Patrick Kane (2007-08).

Cale Makar, D, Colorado Avalanche

Makar, who burst onto the scene in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs by scoring the winning goal in his League debut, continued to make waves in his first full NHL season, topping rookies with 0.88 points per game (12-38-50 in 57 GP). Only three other rookie blueliners in NHL history have averaged as many points per game in a single season (minimum: 50 GP): Leetch (1.04 in 1988-89 w/ NYR), Larry Murphy (0.95 in 1980-81 w/ LAK) and Al MacInnis (0.88 in 1983-84 w/ CGY). Makar also finished among the 2019-20 rookie leaders in game-winning goals (t-1st; 4), assists (2nd; 38), points (2nd; 50), power-play assists (2nd; 15), power-play points (2nd; 19), average time on ice (3rd; 21:01), goals (6th; 12), power-play goals (t-6th; 4), plus/minus (7th; +12), shots on goal (8th; 121) and shooting percentage (8th; 9.9%). The 21-year-old Calgary native is seeking to become the sixth player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to capture the Calder Trophy and fourth since the franchise relocated to Colorado, following Nathan MacKinnon (2013-14), Gabriel Landeskog (2011-12) and Chris Drury (1998-99).

Here are the finalists for the Jack Adams Award, in alphabetical order:

Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins

Under Cassidy, the Bruins (44-14-12 in 70 GP) topped the NHL in both points (100) and points percentage (.714) to claim the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best club during the regular season. Boston posted a League-best 44 wins, including 22 victories as both hosts (22-4-9) and visitors (22-10-3). The Bruins, who reached the 40-win milestone for the seventh consecutive season, also posted an NHL-best +53 goal differential while ranking in the top three in both power play (2nd; 25.2%) and penalty kill (3rd; 84.3%) efficiency. Cassidy is a Jack Adams finalist for the second time in the past three seasons, finishing as runner-up to Vegas’ Gerard Gallant in 2017-18. He is vying to become the fourth Bruins coach to capture Jack Adams honors, following Don Cherry (1975-76), Pat Burns (1997-98) and Claude Julien (2008-09).

John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets

Tortorella guided the Blue Jackets to a .579 points percentage at the time of the pause (33-22-15), landing in the Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 9-ranked team. The Blue Jackets recorded points in 33 of their final 41 games after Dec. 8 (22-8-11), highlighted by a pair of double-digit point streaks in that span: 12 games (8-0-4 from Dec. 9 to Jan. 2) and 10 games (9-0-1 from Jan. 11 to Feb. 7). Columbus committed the fewest minor penalties in the NHL (180 in 70 GP), tied for second in the League in shutouts (seven) and had an NHL-high seven skaters score their first career regular-season goal. Tortorella has garnered a Jack Adams finalist berth for the fifth time; he is a two-time winner of the award (2003-04 with Tampa Bay, 2016-17 with Columbus) and has finished second twice (2002-03 with Tampa Bay, 2011-12 with NY Rangers).

Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers

In his first season behind the Philadelphia bench, Vigneault led the Flyers to a .645 points percentage (41-21-7) at the pause, their best since a .646 mark in 2010-11 and third-best in 30 years. The Flyers vaulted into the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and a spot in the seeding Round Robin of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a nine-game winning streak from Feb. 18 to March 7, eight of which were decided in regulation. Vigneault is a Jack Adams finalist for the fifth time, with his fourth club. He captured the award in 2006-07 with Vancouver and finished second in 1999-2000 with Montreal, 2010-11 with Vancouver and 2014-15 with NY Rangers. He is vying to become the fifth Flyers coach to capture Jack Adams honors, following Fred Shero (1973-74), Pat Quinn (1979-80), Mike Keenan (1984-85) and Bill Barber (2000-01).

In case you missed it, here are the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award:

Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers

Draisaitl played in all 71 of Edmonton’s regular-season games as he helped lead the Oilers to the fifth-best points percentage in the Western Conference. The 24-year-old forward of Germany (Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia) led the NHL in points per game (1.55), assists (67), power-play points (44) and average ice time among forwards (22:37), while he tied for first in game-winning goals (10). Draisaitl topped all scorers with 110 points – the first German-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy. He also finished second in both even-strength points (66) and power-play goals (16), and he placed fourth in goals (43) on the season. Draisaitl is looking to become the first German recipient of the TLA, and follow teammate Connor McDavid’s back-to-back awards (2017-18, 2018-19) to extend the run of consecutive Oilers recipients to three.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon played in 69 of Colorado’s 70 regular-season games to help the Avalanche secure the second-best regular-season points percentage in the Western Conference. The 24-year-old forward of Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia) paced all NHL players in shots on goal (318). His 93 points ranked fifth in league scoring, 43 points ahead of his closest teammate. MacKinnon placed third in even-strength points (62), fourth in power-play points (31) and tied for fifth in points per game (1.35). A model of offensive consistency, he has scored at least 35 goals and 90 points while also recording exactly 58 assists for three seasons in a row. Now a two-time TLA finalist, MacKinnon looks to join Joe Sakic (2000-01) as the second Avalanche player to receive the award.

Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers

Panarin played in 69 of New York’s 70 regular-season games while he helped lead the Rangers to a place in the Qualifying Round after tying for the fifth-most standings points (37) since Jan. 1. The 28-year-old forward of Russia (Korkino, Chelyabinsk Oblast) led all NHL players in even-strength points (71), tied for second in assists (63), tied for third in points (95 points) and placed third in points per game (1.38). He twice recorded point streaks of at least 12 games in 2019-20 (19 points in 12 GP, Oct. 24 – Nov. 20; 19 points in 13 GP, Feb. 7 – March 1). Panarin is the first Rangers player to be voted as a finalist since Henrik Lundqvist (2011-12), and he is looking to become the first Rangers recipient in 14 years (Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06).