Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher, Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau, and Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad are the three finalists for the 2012-13 Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s rookie of the year.
Gallagher, 21, had 15 goals and 28 points in 44 games, while also providing Montreal with much-needed grit up front, despite being listed at just 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds.
Huberdeau, 19, tied for the lead among rookie scorers with 31 points in 48 games. He also played the most of the three candidates, averaging 16:55 of ice time.
Saad, 20, had 10 goals and 17 assists in 46 games. The Pittsburgh native was drafted 43rd overall in 2011.
Notable “snubs,” if you want to call them that, include:
Nail Yakupov — technically won the rookie scoring race with 31 points, since his 17 goals for Edmonton were more than Huberdeau’s 14.
Cory Conacher — finished third in rookie scoring with 29 points for both Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
Justin Schultz — the Oilers’ defenseman averaged 21:26 of ice time and racked up 27 points, the most of any rookie blue-liner.
Jonas Brodin — led all rookie d-men in average TOI (23:12) while paired in Minnesota with Ryan Suter.