Aaron Ekblad is the first defenseman since Tyler Myers (2009-10) to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
The blue liner becomes the first Panthers’ defenseman to take home the award.
“The competition is pretty unreal for this award and there are a couple of names who were left out who definitely could have made a case for it,” Ekblad told the Sun-Sentinel recently. “It’s pretty cool to see who wins it.
“I’ve been able to share this with my family and everything so whether I win or lose it’s been a great experience for sure.”
Ekblad led all NHL rookie defenders in goals (12), power play goals (six), power play points (13) and shots (170). The 19-year-old also finished second in assists, plus-minus (+12), hits (109) and blocked shots (80), all while averaging 21:48 of ice time per game.
He eclipsed Ed Jovanovski’s 19-year franchise record for goals and points by a rookie defenseman.
Ekblad beat out Ottawa Senators’ rookie Mark Stone and Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames.
Here are the full voting results:
1. Aaron Ekblad, FLA 1147 (71-39-24-12-8)
2. Mark Stone, OTT 1078 (47-49-46-11-2)
3. Johnny Gaudreau, CGY 1026 (33-57-48-19-0)
4. Filip Forsberg, NSH 594 (6-9-37-91-13)
5. John Klingberg, DAL 127 (0-2-1-15-63)
6. Mike Hoffman, OTT 57 (0-1-1-5-30)
7. Kevin Hayes, NYR 15 (0-0-0-1-12)
8. Michael Hutchinson, WPG 13 (0-0-0-1-10)
9. Anders Lee, NYI 12 (0-0-0-1-9)
10. Jake Allen, STL 10 (0-0-0-1-7)
11. Bo Horvat, VAN 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
12. Adam Lowry, WPG 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Video: Perry paces Ducks to victory over Jets with four-point night
The Anaheim Ducks’ star winger gave his team the lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the third period on a beautiful second effort that was initially waved off, allowing play to continue. But Perry was sure the puck had crossed the goal line, despite it hitting the outstretched right pad of Ondrej Pavelec, and the video review confirmed it.
Perry, who recorded a four-point night, found the back of the net twice in the final period.
With Anaheim trailing after 40 minutes, Perry’s first goal tied the game, and his second off a power move to the net put the Ducks in front. He cut to the net off his wing and had his first backhand shot denied by the right pad of Pavelec. Perry jammed at the puck once again and was able to nudge it inches over the goal line.
Thursday marked the first time in 19 years an NHL team from Winnipeg competed in a Stanley Cup playoff game. The Jets didn’t get off to the best start, allowing a goal from Sami Vatanen less than two minutes in. But 49 seconds later, Adam Lowry responded, getting the Jets on the board.
It’s been 19 years since Winnipeg last had an NHL team in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The 2014-15 Jets didn’t get off to the greatest start Thursday, after giving up the first goal to the Anaheim Ducks at the 1:57 mark of the first period.
The Jets quickly came back with a goal from Adam Lowry just 49 seconds later. Talk about a good response. This series has been billed as one of the more physical showdowns in the opening round and it’s living up to that hype. The two teams combined for 39 hits in the first period, according to NHL.com.
6,927 days have passed since Winnipeg's most recent Stanley Cup Playoff Game