In a season where Carolina rookie forward Jeff Skinner exceeded expectations time and time again, today was the first time he did exactly what everyone expected of him. Skinner, the NHL's youngest player, was named one of three finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. San Jose forward Logan Couture and New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner are the other two players up for the award, which will be given out at the 2011 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 22.
Skinner led all first-year players with 63 points in 82 games, and ranked third in goals (31) and second in assists (32). The release from the Hurricanes is after the jump.
Jeff Skinner Selected as Finalist for Calder Trophy
Forward one of three finalists for NHL’s rookie of the year honor
RALEIGH, NC – The National Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2010-11 Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year. The winner of the award will be announced at the 2011 NHL Awards, which will be held at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas on June 22. The other finalists for the Calder Trophy are San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture and New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner.
Skinner, 18, completed his first NHL season in 2010-11, and ranked first among league rookies in points (63), second in assists (32) and third in goals (31). The Markham, Ont., native was tied for second among NHL rookies in power-play assists (12) and power-play points (18), and trailed only Eric Staal among Hurricanes skaters in goals and points. Skinner (5’11", 193 lbs.) scored his 30th goal on April 6 against Detroit, becoming the youngest player in franchise history and the seventh-youngest player in NHL history to score 30 goals (18 years, 325 days). Thirteen of Skinner’s 30 goals came in the third period, leading all Carolina skaters, and the Hurricanes were 20-4-2 when Skinner found the net in 2010-11.
Skinner was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month in January after tallying nine goals and five assists (14 points) and a plus-6 rating in 14 games. He became the youngest All-Star in NHL history when he skated for Team Staal at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center at the age of 18 years, 259 days, breaking the record set by Steve Yzerman (18 years, 267 days) in 1984. Skinner made his NHL debut for the Hurricanes on Oct. 7, 2010, against the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland, and became the youngest player in franchise history to earn a point the next night. He became the youngest player in team history to score a goal when he beat Jonathan Bernier for his first NHL goal on Oct. 20 in Los Angeles. Skinner’s 31 goals rank as the second-most by a rookie in franchise history, behind Sylvain Turgeon’s 40-goal rookie season in 1983-84.
Past winners of the Calder Memorial Trophy include Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Teemu Selanne, Martin Brodeur, Peter Forsberg, Alexander Ovechkin and Patrick Kane. Hurricanes Assistant Coach Tom Barrasso won the award with the Buffalo Sabres in 1984. No player in the 30-year history of the Hurricanes franchise has won the Calder Trophy.