As expected by everyone, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been nominated as one of the three finalists for the 2011-12 Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year in the NHL.
Depending on how you look at things, and depending on your desire to derive meaning from absolutely nothing – the NHL.com article annoucing the finalists saves the description of our beloved NUUUUUUUUGE for last confirming he is the favourite to win:
While Landeskog’s spot in the NHL on opening night was expected, some weren’t as sure about Nugent-Hopkins, despite his status as the first player taken in the 2011 draft, because of his 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame. However, he had a goal in his first game and a hat trick in his third, silencing all doubters.
He finished with 52 points despite playing only 62 games — 20 fewer than Landeskog — because of a shoulder injury. The youngest regular in the NHL this season — he didn’t turn 19 until April 12 — he had 18 goals, three multi-goal games, and five assists in a game, Nov. 19 against Chicago. He was the fourth-ever 18-year-old to have a five-assist game, and the first since Kovalchuk on Jan. 19, 2002.
"He makes it looks so easy, but it’s hard," Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff said of Nugent-Hopkins’ passing skills.
As we all know an Edmonton Oiler has not won a Calder Trophy including NHL Never Star Jason Bonsignore who was robbed for his back in his unsuccessful 1995 rookie campaign. Now it’s payback time NHL awards department.