21-Year-Old Center Was Dazzling In 2017-18, Finishing With 22 Goals And 63 Assists

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, Vancouver Canucks right winger Brock Boeser and Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller are the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s rookie of the year.

The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL Awards shows in Las Vegas.

Mathew Barzal

Islanders center Mathew Barzal skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames at Barclays Center on Feb. 11, 2018. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Though they missed the playoffs for the second straight season, the Islanders were loaded offensively. Potential free agent center John Tavares enjoyed one of his best seasons, finishing with 37 goals and 84 points, but it was Barzal, the 16th overall selection in 2015, who led the team in scoring. The 21-year-old’s 85 points in 82 games led all rookies. Barzal is one of five rookies in NHL history with at least 63 assists in a season, matching Bryan Trottier’s Islanders rookie record.

“It’d be pretty good,” Barzal said back on April 9 about possibly winning the Calder. “It’s a pretty good group of guys that have won that, some Hall of Famers. If I could be in that conversation, it would be pretty special.”

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Four other Islanders have won the Calder. Three — Denis Potvin (1974), Trottier (1976) and Mike Bossy (1978) — are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Defenseman Bryan Berard won the award in 1997.

Boeser, the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 draft, was second among rookies with 29 goals and fifth with 55 points despite appearing in only 62 games. Keller, the seventh overall selection in 2016, was second among rookies with 23 goals and 42 assists while skating in all 82 games.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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