Elias Pettersson’s outstanding rookie season with the Vancouver Canucks has resulted in a nomination for the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.
With 66 points in 71 games, Pettersson led all first-year players in scoring this season by a wide margin. That doesn’t mean he isn’t without competition for the award though, as the other two nominees – St Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin – had great seasons too.
Binnington is probably Pettersson’s biggest threat. Taking over as the Blues’ No. 1 goaltender in January, Binnington led his team to the playoffs with a 24-5-1 record and a .927 save percentage. If voters feel that he appeared in enough games, he could very well win the award.
The first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Dahlin led all rookie defencemen and ranked third among all rookies in points, with 44 (9-35-44).
Pettersson should still be considered the favourite to win this award. While he slowed down somewhat in the second half of the season – he was still spectacular, breaking Pavel Bure’s Canucks record for points in a season by a rookie.
Should Pettersson win the award, he’ll become just the second Canuck to ever win it – joining Bure, who won the Calder in 1992. Brock Boeser was the last Canucks player to be nominated for Rookie of the Year, finishing second to Mathew Barzal last season.