The late-season playoff push in places like Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Florida — all teams that were not expected to be in the playoff hunt — pushed several rookies into the spotlight. While all but the Florida Panthers made the playoffs, the fact that all had key contributions from first-year players made for an interesting Calder Trophy selection the 2014-15 season. Read more»
After completing an exceptional regular season and never giving up, the Calgary Flames have found a way to win and return to the playoffs after six years without a post-season appearance. Coincidentally, Lance Bouma and TJ Brodie were drafted the last time the Flames were in the playoffs. Since then the Calgary Flames have stockpiled a group of talented prospects which includes Michael Ferland, Markus Granlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and most recently, Sam Bennett. Collectively, they have been an integral part of the team and the success found this season.
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has played a key role in his team’s surprising push for the final wild card playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and as a result has all but closed the gap with Nashville Predators‘ left wing Filip Forsberg — the leading scorer among rookies — in the February Hockey’s Future Calder Trophy poll. Read more»