Connor Bedard named finalist for Calder Trophy alongside Brock Faber, Luke Hughes

Blackhawks center Connor Bedard will learn in June whether he’s edged out his competition for the honor.

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Connor Bedard will have to wait a couple more months to find out if he’s the recipient of the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s 2023-24 rookie of the year.

On Tuesday, though, the Blackhawks star learned he’s officially one of three Calder finalists, as voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

It’s a thoroughly unsurprising trio of finalists: Bedard, Wild defenseman Brock Faber and Devils defenseman Luke Hughes. The only question entering Tuesday was whether Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov might edge out Hughes for a finalist spot, but even that seemed unlikely.

The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards show in late June, usually right before the draft.

Bedard handily led all NHL rookies this season in goals (22), assists (39), points (61), power-play points (21), shots on goal (206) and virtually every other offensive statistic. Points-wise, it was the best season by a Hawks teenager since Patrick Kane in 2007-08 and the fourth-best of all time — behind only Eddie Olczyk, Denis Savard and Kane.

Faber and Hughes tied for second among rookies with 47 points each, but Faber’s argument for the Calder rests upon his defensive acumen and its contrast to Bedard’s defensive struggles.

Plus-minus is a flawed stat, but Faber was only a minus-one while Bedard was a minus-44. For a time this spring, that disparity seemed to be giving real legs to Faber’s candidacy, but his play slipped down the stretch and his analytics reflected that. Bedard now seems very likely to take home the award.

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