Islanders' Barzal headlines Calder finalists


The NHL announced the finalists for the Calder Trophy, the award given to the league's top rookie -- who this season could be the biggest runaway winner of all the awards.

The three finalists tabbed Sunday are Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes.

Boeser, the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 draft, finished second among rookies with 29 goals this season despite missing 20 games. Keller, the youngest of the three finalists at 19 years old and the No. 7 pick in 2016, played in all 82 games. His 65 points were the most by a Coyotes rookie since the franchise relocated from Winnipeg to Arizona in 1996.

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But the favorite to win the award in the eyes of most is Barzal. The No. 16 pick in 2015 also played in 82 games. And while his 22 goals were only sixth among rookies, he far outpaced the field in numerous measures and accomplishments:

--His 63 assists were 21 more than the next-closest rookie, and his 85 points cleared runner-up Keller by 20.

--He is the seventh rookie in NHL history with at least 20 goals and 60 assists -- and the first since Sidney Crosby 12 seasons ago.

--He is the second rookie ever to collect three five-point games -- the other was Montreal's Joe Malone in 1917-18 ... the inaugural season of the NHL.

The winner will be announced at the 2018 NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on June 20.

--Field Level Media

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