Michael Grabner’s fantastic year is only getting better and better! After a breakout season with the Islanders, and an All Star Appearance, he saw the birth of his first child and has now been named a Calder Finalist. Grabner will be one of three players nominated and will attend the NHL Awards in Las Vegas this coming June.
From the Islanders release:
The National Hockey League announced today that New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner has been named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, given annually to the league’s top rookie. Grabner is one of three finalists who will attend the 2011 NHL Awards Show on June 22 in Las Vegas, NV.
Grabner, 23, led all NHL rookies and all Islanders this season with 34 goals, while his 52 points ranked third amongst league rookies and fourth overall on the team. The Villach, Austria, native also led all rookies and finished second in the NHL with six shorthanded goals this season, and he ranked first amongst rookies and tied for second overall with seven shorthanded points.
Ten of Grabner’s 34 goals this season came during a stretch in February in which he scored goals in six consecutive games to match the NHL’s longest goal-scoring streak of the season. Grabner’s 26 even-strength goals also led all rookies and trailed just seven players overall.
To go along with his goal-scoring prowess, Grabner posted a team-high +13 rating this season and was one of six Islanders to finish with a plus rating. The two-way forward also recorded fewer penalty minutes (10) than any other Islanders player who appeared in at least 21 games.
At the season’s midway point, NHL Hockey Operations selected Grabner to represent the Islanders at NHL All Star Weekend in Raleigh, NC. He made his mark on the weekend and helped Team Staal earn a victory at the Honda Superskills event by winning the Bridgestone Fastest Skater competition.
Grabner made his NHL debut last season with the Vancouver Canucks, playing in 20 games and posting 11 points (five goals, six assists). He was traded from Vancouver to the Florida Panthers this offseason, before the New York Islanders claimed him off of waivers on Oct. 5, 2010. In 96 career NHL games, Grabner has scored 39 goals with 24 assists for 63 points with a +15 rating.