The Calder Trophy voting for the NHL’s top rookie will have a Tampa Bay Lightning flavour to it.
Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were named as finalists for the trophy along with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche. Tampa Bay is the first club to have multiple nominees for the award since Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews finished first and third, respectively, in 2008.
The award winner will be named June 24 at the NHL awards banquet.
Johnson had a team-record 24 goals and finished tied with MacKinnon for the NHL lead among rookies. Johnson, who signed with the Lightning as a free agent, also finished tied for the league lead in short-handed goals (five) and led all first-year players in total ice time and face-offs.
Palat finished second among rookie scorers with 59 points (23 goals, 36 points), finishing three shy of Brad Richards’ team rookie scoring mark set in 2000-’01. Palat had an eight-game points streak from Dec. 23-Jan. 9 and led all first-year players in plus-minus (plus-32).
MacKinnon, selected first overall in last year’s draft by Colorado, led all NHL rookies in scoring with 63 points, assists (39), power-play goals (eight) and shots (241). He had a 13-game points streak from Jan. 25 to March 6, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record for the longest single-season point streak by a player age 18 or younger (12 games).