Matty Beniers named finalist for NHL's Calder Trophy award

Arizona Coyotes v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 06: Matty Beniers #10 of the Seattle Kraken celebrates his goal during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena on April 06, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers is one step away from earning the NHL's rookie of the year honors, named a finalist on Wednesday for the league's Calder Trophy award. Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner were named the other two finalists.

The award will be presented in Nashville on June 26, as part of the league's awards ceremony at 5pm PT.

There will be no more campaigning for the award, as the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots at the conclusion of the regular season. The top three votes were designated as finalists, and the winner will be revealed in over a month from now, right after the Stanley Cup is lifted by this year's winning team.

There are eight teams remaining in that chase, with the Kraken among them amidst a season that has completely blown up expectations to smithereens. Beniers, 20, was a major piece of a record setting turnaround for the Kraken, who won 46 games, reached 100 points, and swung the biggest point turnaround (40 points) in league history, for a team in their second season, to secure the first Stanley Cup Playoff berth in franchise history.

Beniers led all league rookies with 57 points in 80 games, playing a major role in a Kraken offense that rolled over opponents with 3.5 goals per game, fourth best in the league.

As he routinely drew top defensive assignments as the season got deeper, nobody had more multi point games (18) among NHL rookies than Beniers, also racking up the second most ice time among league rookie forwards.

Should Beniers take the trophy in June, which would be the first significant individual award in Kraken history, he would join Peter Statsny of the Quebec Nordiques as one of two players in NHL history to win the Calder Trophy award within a new team's first two seasons.

Beniers, who had an assist in game one at Dallas on Tuesday night, was a part of the Kraken 5-4 overtime win to take a 1-0 series lead in the second round. Game two is Thursday, 6:30pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network) at American Airlines Center.

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