Blackhawks right wing Dominik Kubalik was named one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy on Tuesday. Defensemen Quinn Hughes of the Canucks and Cale Makar of the Avalanche are the other two finalists.
The trophy is given annually to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year in the NHL as voted on by Professional Hockey Writers’ Association members. The winner will be announced during the Conference Finals or before the Stanley Cup Final.
Kubalik, 24, led all rookies with 30 goals (26 at even strength) and his 46 points in 68 games ranked third behind 20-year-old Hughes’ 53 (eight goals, 45 assists) and 21-year-old Makar’s 50 (12 goals, 38 assists). Hughes also played 68 games while Makar played 57. No other rookie had more than 20 goals this season.
Kubalik also led rookies with a 2.824 points per 60 (Makar at 2.505 and Hughes at 2.137) and 0.30 goals-created per game (Makar at 0.29 and Hughes at 0.24), according to hockey-reference. The Czech winger also scored a rookie-high 36 points and 0.88 points-per-game since Dec. 8. Those numbers are elevated by scoring 24 of his 30 goals since that date.
Kubalik will look to become the 11th Blackhawks player to win the Calder, joining goaltender Mike Karakas (1936), center Cully Dahlstrom (1938), right wing Ed Litzenberger (1955), center Bill Hay (1960), goaltender Tony Esposito (1970), right wing Steve Larmer (1983), goaltender Ed Belfour (1991), right wing Patrick Kane (2008) and left wing Artemi Panarin (2016).