The race for the rookie scoring title came down to a race between Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov and Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and both closed out the year in big ways. They also closed it out tied atop the stat board.
Huberdeau tallied three assists for Florida as the Panthers cruised to a 5-3 win over rival Tampa Bay. He assisted on both of Tomas Fleischmann’s goals as well as Marcel Goc’s empty netter that sealed the victory. The three helpers gave him 17 on the year and 31 points in all.
Yakupov did things in much grander fashion scoring his first career hat trick in helping the Oilers beat and frustrate Roberto Luongo and the Canucks 7-2. All three goals came during Edmonton’s six-goal outburst in the third period that blew things wide open and caused Luongo to blow off reporters following the game.
The three goals gave Yakupov 17 on the year to win the rookie goal-scoring title but tied him with Huberdeau in points. Both players have compelling cases for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. They’ll be competing with the likes of Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Cory Conacher, and Jonas Brodin for that award.
Here’s video of Yakupov’s hat trick last night in case you missed it: