Connor Bedard, Brock Faber, Luke Hughes up for NHL top rookie honours

Connor Bedard, Brock Faber, Luke Hughes up for NHL top rookie honours

Chicago centre Connor Bedard, Minnesota Wild defenceman Brock Faber and New Jersey Devils defenceman Luke Hughes are the finalists for this season’s Calder Memorial Trophy.

The trophy is awarded annually to the NHL’s rookie of the year as voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Bedard, who played junior for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, led NHL rookies and his team with 22 goals and 61 points despite missing 14 games with a broken jaw. His 39 assists also led Chicago and tied him with Faber for first among rookies.

For goals, Bedard finished one ahead of Wild forward Marco Rossi, who played all 82 regular-season games.

The 18-year-old Bedard from North Vancouver, B.C., became the second-youngest player in league history to finish as the rookie leader in goals, assists and points behind Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in 2013-14.

Bedard, the first-overall pick at the 2023 NHL draft, is also the second-youngest rookie in NHL history to achieve the feat for his team after Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby in 2005-06.

Faber, placed tied for second among rookies with Hughes at 47 points (eight goals, 39 assists) in 82 games. He topped all rookies with an average ice time of 24 minutes 58 seconds.

Hughes’s 47 points are the second-most by a rookie defenceman in Devils franchise history, behind Barry Beck’s 60 in 1977-78 with the Colorado Rockies.

Vancouver defenceman Quinn Hughes, Luke’s brother, was a finalist for the Calder in 2020. It’s the first time two brothers have been named a finalist for the award.

On Monday, Thatcher Demko (Vancouver), Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg) and Sergei Bobrovksky (Florida) were announced as finalists for top goaltender honours.

The NHL reportedly will hold its awards show June 27 at the Fontainebleau hotel in Las Vegas, preceding the June 28-29 draft in the city at The Sphere.

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