By NHL Public Relations
May 3, 2023
NEW YORK (May 3, 2023) – Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner are the three finalists for the 2022‑23 Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26 (8 p.m. ET, TNT, SN, TVAS).
Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Matty Beniers, C, Seattle Kraken
Beniers led rookies with 24-33—57 in 80 games to help the Kraken (46-28-8, 100 points) post the largest win (+19) and point (+40) improvements by an NHL franchise from its first to second season. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft, the first selection in Seattle history, also ranked among the top rookies in multi-point performances (1st; 18), shooting percentage (1st, minimum: 80 S; 16.2%), plus/minus (1st; +14), goals (t-1st; 24), assists (2nd; 33), game-winning goals (2nd; 4), shots on goal (4th; 148), power-play points (6th; 10), power-play goals (t-6th; 4) and power-play assists (8th; 6). Beniers, who finished second among rookie forwards in total time on ice (1,367:22) and fourth in average time on ice (17:06), was assessed only one penalty to become the fourth different player in League history – rookie or veteran – to skate in at least 80 games in a season and receive two or fewer penalty minutes. The 20-year-old Beniers, the first NHL Awards finalist in Kraken history, is seeking to become the first player from an expansion franchise to win the Calder Trophy within his team’s first two seasons since Peter Stastny captured the award in 1980-81, the Quebec Nordiques’ second campaign.
Owen Power, D, Buffalo Sabres
Power, who played two seasons of college hockey with Beniers at the University of Michigan (2020-21 and 2021-22) and was selected one pick ahead of him in the 2021 NHL Draft, paced rookie defensemen with 4-31—35 across 79 contests. He finished among the top rookies – forwards and defensemen – in assists (3rd; 31), plus/minus (t-3rd; +10), power-play assists (4th; 8), shots on goal (7th; 130) and power-play points (t-9th; 8). Power also led all rookies in both average (23:48) and total (1,880:20) time on ice, the fifth-highest and seventh-highest figures, respectively, since the statistics began being recorded in 1997-98 (minimum: 15 GP). The 20-year-old Power is the Sabres’ first Calder Trophy finalist since current teammate and fellow No. 1 overall draft selection Rasmus Dahlin placed third in voting in 2018-19. He is vying to become Buffalo’s fourth winner of the award, after defenseman Tyler Myers (2009-10), goaltender Tom Barrasso (1983-84) and center Gilbert Perreault (1970-71). Only three franchises that have entered the NHL in the expansion era (since 1967-68) currently have at least four Calder Trophy winners: the Avalanche/Nordiques (6), Flames (5) and Islanders (5).
Stuart Skinner, G, Edmonton Oilers
Skinner, a third-round choice (78th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft, topped rookie goaltenders in wins (29) and games played (50) while ranking second among qualifying rookies (minimum: 25 GP) in goals-against average (2.75) and save percentage (.914). His 29 victories set an Oilers rookie record, one ahead of Grant Fuhr’s 28in 1981-82 (48 GP), and were the most by a rookie on any team since Matt Murray’s 32in 2016-17 (49 GP w/ PIT). Ten of Skinner’s wins came in March (10-1-1), a single-month Edmonton record for any netminder (rookie or veteran) ahead of the nine previously shared by Andy Moog (January 1983: 9-1-2), Fuhr (December 1987: 9-3-1), Tommy Salo (March 2003: 9-3-1) and Mike Smith (April 2022: 9-0-0). The 24-year-old Skinner, who in February became the second rookie goaltender in Oilers history to play in the All-Star Game (also Fuhr in 1982), is Edmonton’s first Calder Trophy finalist since Connor McDavid finished third in voting in 2015-16 and is seeking to become the first player in franchise history to take home the award. He also is looking to become first netminder on any team to capture the trophy since Steve Mason in 2008-09 (w/ CBJ).
From 1936-37 until his death in 1943, NHL President Frank Calder purchased a trophy each year to be given permanently to the League’s outstanding rookie. After Calder’s death, the NHL presented the Calder Memorial Trophy in his memory.
The three finalists for the 2023 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 12. The series of announcements continues Thursday, May 4, when the three finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.