NHL News

Calder Trophy finalists: Beniers, Power, Skinner

Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner are the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced Wednesday.

The award which goes to the NHL’s best rookie, will be revealed June 26 during the NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Beniers, Power and Skinner were selected as they were the top three vote-getters as designated by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association who vote on the Calder, among other accolades.

Beniers debuted last season and scored nine points in 10 games with the Kraken after leaving the University of Michigan following his sophomore season. The 20-year-old Beniers, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, played a significant role in the Kraken’s turnaround from lottery team to one that made the playoffs and is now in the second round.

Beniers led all rookies in points (57) while being tied for first in goals (24) and was second in assists (33) along with game-winning goals (4). He was named to the NHL All-Star Game but had to miss the event due to an injury.

Power, who was the No. 1 pick of that 2021 draft, also played at Michigan. The 20-year-old had an eight-game cameo with the Sabres last season before he emerged into a full-time top-four role with the club. Power led all rookies with 23:48 in ice time while leading all rookie defensemen in points (35) and assists.

Those contributions helped the Sabres win more than 40 games for the first time in a decade as they just missed the playoffs by a point.

Skinner had a combined 14 games of NHL experience before he became a full-time NHL goalie this season. He began the season as the No. 2 behind Jack Campbell in the Oilers’ tandem until Skinner emerged as the No. 1 choice. The 24-year-old Skinner gave the Oilers consistency in goal which led to them finishing just two points shy of winning the Pacific Division title.

A third-round pick in 2017, Skinner was named to the NHL All-Star team en route to finishing his first full season 29-14-5 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. He led all rookies in wins while being in the top five of GAA and save percentage. Skinner was also tied for third in shutouts.

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