Read, Couturier left off Calder list
PITTSBURGH -- When the NHL Awards convene in June at the Wynn in Las Vegas, the Flyers - the team practically run by rookies - will not be represented in the race for Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
Both Matt Read and Sean Couturier were not chosen as finalists for the Calder, one of the rare trophies no Flyer has ever won in franchise history.
Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog, Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and New Jersey's Adam Henrique are the three finalists.
The vote was conducted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
You could make a valid argument for both Read and Couturier, who have both played major roles for the Flyers.
Read, 25, led all rookies in goals with 24. He added 23 assists for a healthy 47 points. He also played a signficant penalty killing role for the Flyers. His age may have hurt him, even though this is his first year of any professional hockey out of Bemidji Staste University in Minnesota.
Couturier, 19, was one of two rookies from the 2011 Draft class to play in more than 70 games this season. His totals (13 goals, 14 assists) were not sexy, but he played in a primary shutdown role for the Flyers, which has been much mentioned in the playoffs for his job on Evgeni Malkin. He took key faceoffs late in games, played well on the penalty kill, and scored consistently when given the opportunity to play with talented players on scoring lines.
Here is the NHL's release on the three finalists:
Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
A third-round pick by the Devils in 2008 and winner of back-to-back Memorial Cups with the OHL Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010, Henrique filled a crucial void in the Devils lineup following an Achilles injury to No. 1 center Travis Zajac, who missed all but 15 games this season. Henrique made the most of his opportunity by tallying 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 74 games, mostly centering wings Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. He led all rookies in assists and shorthanded goals (four), ranked third in rookie scoring and posted the NHL's longest point streak among freshmen (seven games, Nov. 25 to Dec. 8).
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Selected second overall at the 2011 NHL Draft, Landeskog assumed a leading role on an Avalanche club that improved by 20 points over its 2010-11 total. Landeskog posted 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in 82 games, capturing the rookie scoring title in a tie-breaker over Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18-34--52) on the basis of more goals. Landeskog ranked second among rookies in goals and third in assists, making him the only rookie among the top three in all three categories. The 19-year-old left wing led all rookies and set a Colorado franchise record with 270 shots on goal and was the only rookie to lead his club in goals.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
A spectacular start to his NHL career quickly ended speculation where Nugent-Hopkins, the first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, would spend the 2011-12 season. He notched the game-tying goal in the season opener against Pittsburgh, tallied a hat trick in his third career game and became the first 18-year-old in League history to tally five assists in one game, against Chicago on Nov. 19. Nugent-Hopkins went on to finish in a tie for first place among rookies in points with 52 (18 goals, 34 assists) despite missing 20 games due to injury. His point-per-game average of .84 was the best among rookies.
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