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Calder Trophy: Skinner received my top vote

Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:54 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:53 pm

San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, New York Islanders winger Michael Grabner and Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner were unveiled as the three finalists for the Calder Trophy -- the NHL’s version of the rookie of the year award -- on Tuesday. This a solid rookie class where an argument could be made for any of these three to be handed the trophy in June. As a proud, voting member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, here’s my top 3:

1. Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes: This was one of the votes that I went back and forth on several times before I submitted my ballot. In the end, I gave Skinner the nod since the 18-year-old performed at a consistent level for nearly the entire season on a team that was in the playoff hunt until Game No. 82. Skinner led all rookies in points (63), was second in assists (32) and third in goals (31). He was a fixture on Carolina’s shootout from the beginning of the season and contributed key goals down the stretch, minus which Carolina wouldn’t have even been a contender. Also, I put a slight priority on centers over wingers if all else is equal.

2. Michael Grabner, New York Islanders : While Skinner was the seventh overall pick in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, Grabner wasn’t even the Isles' property at the end of training camp. They claimed Grabner off waivers on Oct. 5 and he went on to lead the Islanders in goals (34), which was also tops among rookies. Probably even more impressive was his plus-minus (plus-13), a stat that doesn’t alway treat first-year players too well. At 23, he’s five years older than Skinner. I didn’t use that as a factor in my voting. I also didn't take into account he's one of the best follows on Twitter

3. Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks: On a team with Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau, Couture was still one of the team’s most consistent forwards. Along with his speed, Couture is a tenacious back-checker and one of the best young finishers in the game. He was second on the Sharks (and among rookies) in goals (32). The line he typically centered with Ryane Clowe along with Heatley or others on the wings was often the Sharks line that got them revved up en route to another Pacific Division title. 

-- A.J. Perez

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 5:32 pm
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Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2011 9:14 pm

Calder Trophy: Skinner received my top vote

Couture was one of the best players on one of the best teams.....should be end of story! Should've been a legit All-Star not just a token on home ice. He was was one of the leading goal scorers in the west at the All Star break. Skinner may have helped Carolina ALMOST make the playoffs BUT without Couture,the Sharks may not have made the playoffs! And pay attention cause he's making great (2 goals in 3 games) contributions already in the race for the cup!

Since: Apr 18, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2011 12:01 pm

Calder Trophy: Skinner received my top vote

I am totally suprised that all of you guys picks an East Coast guy from a losing team to East Coast bias at all right?  I live on the West Coast and got to watch all 3 play.  I am a Sharks fan so I would take the Shark but even if I weren't a Sharks fan, I would take the guy on the winning team in the playoffs.  Get your team into the playoffs I feel is better than some good stats on a crappy team.

Also didn't hurt that everyone got to see this guy on home ice in the allstar game.  Skinner is a good player as are Grabner and Couture but when their stats are that close you have to look at the teams and how the rookie helped the team.  Sharks #2 seed in the West (and I know that means you never got to see him play) Carolina and Islanders....out of the playoffs.  Grabner and Skinner both got more ice time that they would on a decent team.  Just my opinion and I will say again I am a Sharks fan so I do see things with a teal tint.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:51 pm

Calder Trophy: Skinner received my top vote

all star team...lead all rookies in points..what else do you need?...this kid will be a solid producer in the NHL for yeers to come...on top of the fact that he is an excellent skater....a natural!

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: April 19, 2011 8:31 pm

Calder Trophy: Skinner received my top vote

I hear you on that. This group of rookie forwards, including Ennis, was amazing this season. Also, I had Bobrovsky under consideration until the final couple weeks of the season. Thanks for your comments! -- AJ

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 7:31 pm

Calder Trophy: Skinner received my top vote

I would also put an honorable mention to Bobrovski from Philadelphia and Ennis from Buffalo.   Although these two guys didn't make the top 3, they put up very respectable numbers for rookies, but you have to agree that the voters got this one right.  I feel the best three rookies are represented this year.  I just hope they don't run into a sophmore slump like last years winner did (Tyler Myers).

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