NEW YORK (NHL) -- Center Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, goaltender Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres are the three finalists for the 2009-10 Calder Trophy, awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
Selected third overall in the 2009 Entry Draft, Duchene earned a place on the Avalanche roster out of training camp as an 18-year-old. He went on to lead all NHL rookies in scoring with 55 points (24 goals, 31 assists) in 81 games, shared the rookie goal-scoring lead with the New York Islanders' John Tavares and ranked second among rookies in assists. The Haliburton, Ontario, native placed second on the Avalanche in goals and led the club in power-play goals (10) and multi-goal games (six). Duchene’s 55 points were the second-highest total by a rookie in Avalanche history behind Paul Stastny's 78 in 2006-07.
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Howard seized the Detroit starting job in 2009-10 following a four-year apprenticeship at AHL Grand Rapids. The Syracuse, N.Y., native started 25 consecutive games from Jan. 29 to Apr. 4, the longest streak by a Red Wings goaltender since Tim Cheveldae (29) in 1991-92 and tops by a Detroit rookie since Connie Dion (26) in 1943-44. He posted a 37-15-10 record, 2.26 goals-against average and .924 save percentage, including a 15-0-2 run during his final 17 starts that clinched the Red Wings a playoff berth for the 19th consecutive season. Howard is just the fourth goaltender in Red Wings history to post 30 wins in his rookie season.
Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres
Myers not only won an NHL roster spot as a 19-year-old, he posted statistics befitting an established veteran. The 6'8", 222-lb. defenseman led the Sabres in ice time per game (23:44), three minutes more than blueline partner Henrik Tallinder who ranked second. He shared second place on the club in plus-minus (+13) and was fifth in scoring (11-37--48). Myers ranked at or near the top in several rookie categories, including average ice time (first), shorthanded time (first, 3:04), assists (first), blocked shots (first, 137), plus-minus (T-second) and points (third). He also was one of four rookies to play all 82 games.
From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the NHL’s outstanding rookie. After Calder’s death, the League presented the Calder Trophy in his memory.
The NHL will announce the three finalists for each of its awards daily. The remaining announcement schedule:
Friday, April 23 James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman)
Monday, April 26 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Tuesday, April 27 NHL Foundation Player Award (contributions to charitable causes)
Wednesday, April 28 Jack Adams Award (top head coach)
Thursday, April 29 Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)