The NHL Awards Show began with recognizing arguably the most exciting player in the league this season. Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov has won the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year. Kaprizov, 24, recorded 27 goals and 51 points in 55 games in just his first season in North America. He received 99 of a possible 100 first-place votes for the award.
Minnesota’s long wait for Kaprizov to make the jump from the KHL to the NHL paid off, as his talent translated perfectly to the North American game. Kaprizov’s dynamic skating and offensive instincts helped to completely re-invent the Wild’s style of play and ultimately led them to the postseason. Kaprizov finished first in goals and points for Minnesota this season while leading all forwards in time on ice. For his efforts, not only did Kaprizov take home the Calder, but he also was named to the All-Rookie Team, finished fourth among left wings in All-Star Team voting, and even received enough MVP votes to tie for fifteenth in Hart Trophy voting.
Behind Kaprizov, Dallas’ Jason Robertson received the vast majority of second-place votes and Carolina’s Alex Nedeljkovic received the vast majority of third-place votes. Other candidates included Ottawa’s Joshua Norris and the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin.