This just in Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has been named the Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie for the 2019-20 season.
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The 20 year old Makar edged out Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik for the annual award. Makar finished second among NHL rookies in scoring with 50 points (12g/38a) in 57 games. His 0.88 points-per-game average led all rookies and tied for the third-highest total by a rookie defenseman in NHL history (min. 50 GP). Only Brian Leetch (1.04, New York Rangers, 1988-89) and Larry Murphy (0.95, Los Angeles Kings, 1980-81) averaged more.
The 21-year-old led all rookie blueliners with 12 goals and tied for first among all rookies with four game-winning tallies. His 0.21 goals-per-game average was the highest by a first-year defenseman since 2015-16 (Shayne Gostisbehere, 0.27). Makar's 38 assists ranked second among all rookies. He was first among rookie blueliners in even-strength goals (eight) and points (31) as well as power-play goals (four). He finished second among all rookies in power-play points (19) and power-play assists (15).
Makar and Hughes, who led all rookies with 53 points in 68 games, became the first defensemen to rank 1-2 in rookie scoring in the NHL's modern era (since 1943-44). Overall, only 17 rookie defensemen in NHL history have reached the 50-point mark in a season, with Makar and Hughes the first since Vladimir Malakhov (52) in 1992-93 with the New York Islanders. This was also just second season in league history to feature multiple rookie defensemen with 50 or more points; Barry Beck, Reed Larson and Stefan Persson combined for the feat in 1977-78.