The 2015 Calder Trophy finalst were announced this evening, and a pretty big name was missing:
Mark Stone, Johnny Gaudreau and Aaron Ekblad are finalists for the Calder Trophy.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 23, 2015
Filip Forsberg, considered a shoe in for the award just a few months ago, is conspicuously absent. He will not be one of the three rookies to travel to Las Vegas for the NHL Award on June 24th.
The 20-year-old Forsberg led the Nashville Predators in points (63), amassing 26 goals and 37 assists in his first full season of action. He was one of the big reasons the Preds came out to such a hot start and was, at one point, putting up over a point per game. The rookie was a runaway for the award at the halfway mark of the season.
However, his production tailed off after the All-Star Game, and his torrid pace disappeared. In a one month span from February 14th to March 14th (comprising 15 games), Forsberg only notched 3 points. Though his team was also suffering from an ugly funk, it allowed Gaudreau to shove himself into the conversation, and opened the door to seriously look at what an amazing year Ekblad has had. Stone was also instrumental in getting Ottawa back into the playoff picture, and subsequently into the playoffs.
But not including Forsberg on the least, even with all of that, is moronic. In his final 12 games, though, he rebounded with 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points. Not near the pace he was on (and not as big as Stone), but Stone only finished 1 point ahead of Forsberg. As we've seen in the past for the Hart race, it doesn't matter how you start, just how you finish. Right Corey Perry?
Not to take anything away from Stone... but man.
To have a rookie in the conversation is still a feat in Nashville, even if ultimately he was not going to take home the trophy. Still, it's crazy to think after being a key part in the Predators roster, helping them to their second postseason berth in two years, and leading the rookie charge for most of the year, he's the odd man out.