Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner named runner up for the 2023 Calder Memorial Trophy
Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner has been named the runner-up for the 2022-23 Calder Memorial Trophy awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League” at this year’s NHL Awards in Nashville, TN.
Matty Beniers from the Seattle Kraken was named the recipient of the notorious award for rookie of the year in 2022-23.
Beniers led NHL rookies in points at 57 and tied the league lead in goals with Dallas Stars forward Wyatt Johnson at 24. The rookie had ten power-play points and 148 shots on net while averaging 17:06 of ice time. The 20-year-old helped lead the Kraken to clinch their berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs in their second NHL season.
A player’s first season in the NHL breaks them into a world of high-calibre hockey, and making a name for yourself within that season is hard, but stopping the highlight-reel goals between the pipes is even more challenging.
The Oilers got lucky with the Edmonton native, as Skinner grew up playing minor hockey with South Side Athletic Club before breaking into the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The 24-year-old netminder had a fantastic rookie season this past year with the Oilers, playing 50 of 82 games. He collected a record of 29-14-5 with a .914 save percentage and one shutout win. Initially, Skinner was set as the backup goaltender to Jack Campbell, but quickly, roles reversed, and Skinner came out on top.
Among all rookie goalies, Skinner leads in wins at 29, and games played at 50. His win total set an Oilers rookie record and was the most amongst any rookie goalie since Matt Murray broke out with 32 wins for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-17.
Skinner would have been the first goaltender to win the award since Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008-09 and it would have been the first time an Oilers player had won the trophy in NHL history.
The Oilers netminder was a finalist for the award alongside winner Beniers and defenceman Owen Powers from the Buffalo Sabres.
Powers, the number one pick in the 2021 draft, lead rookie defenceman in points at 35 and was tied for second in plus-minus rating at plus-10 with Dylan Samberg of the Winnipeg Jets. The Buffalo Sabres had their best season since 2010-11 with a record of 42-33-7 thanks to the defensive contributions of Powers.
Aleena Aksenchuk is contributor with Oilersnation and the Nation Network. She can be found on Twitter at @A_Aksenchuk8.
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