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Calder Memorial Trophy — Top NHL Rookies

Each season, the top NHL rookie receives the Calder Memorial Trophy. Top NHL rookies have received this award since the 1932-33 season, but it was simply called Rookie of the Year until 1936-1937 (more on that coming).

Eligibility for the NHL Calder Trophy is a bit complicated. To be considered, a player cannot have previously played more than 25 games in any single season, nor have played in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons, in any major pro league. In addition, Calder winners must be 26 years old or younger on September 15 of their rookie season. This is informally known as the Makarov Rule — more on that coming, too.

Winners are selected by a vote of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season.

NHL Calder Trophy — History

Frank Sellick Calder was born in England in 1877 and emigrated to Canada as a young man where he embarked on a career in journalism, starting as a sports reporter. Having developed what was to be a lifelong interest in sports, he became involved in executive management of soccer and hockey associations.

In 1917, Calder became president of the newly formed NHL. By all accounts, he was a firm leader under whose guidance the league grew and prospered. In 1932-33, the NHL began to award a rookie of the year trophy. In 1936-37, the award became the Calder Trophy. After Calder passed away in 1943, the award was renamed the Calder Memorial Trophy.

NHL Calder Trophy — Trivia

  • Who’s the oldest of the top NHL rookies? Sergei Makarov of the Calgary Flames was 31 years old when he won the Calder Trophy in 1989-90. He had played on the Soviet Red Army team earlier in his career. Makarov was drafted by Calgary in the 12th round, but he wasn’t able to play for them at that time because of political issues. This situation led the NHL to introduce the “Makarov Rule,” which stipulates NHL Calder Trophy candidates must be 26 years old or younger.
  • Who’s the youngest of the top NHL rookies? Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche was 18 years old when he took Calder honors in 2013-14. Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes was only a few months older than that when he won in 2010-11.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs have an eye for talent. They lead the NHL with 10 Calder Trophy winners.
  • Luc Robitaille of the Los Angeles Kings won the Calder Trophy in 1986-87 — drafted by the Kings in the ninth round, the 171st overall pick.

Calder Trophy Winners — Complete List

  • 2018: Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
  • 2017: Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 2016: Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2015: Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
  • 2014: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • 2013: Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers
  • 2012: Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
  • 2011: Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2010: Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres
  • 2009: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2008: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2007: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2006: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
  • 2004: Andrew Raycroft, Boston Bruins
  • 2003: Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues
  • 2002: Dany Heatley, Atlanta Thrashers
  • 2001: Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
  • 2000: Scott Gomez, New Jersey Devils
  • 1999: Chris Drury, Colorado Avalanche
  • 1998: Sergei Samsonov, Boston Bruins
  • 1997: Bryan Berard, New York Islanders
  • 1996: Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
  • 1995: Peter Forsberg, Quebec Nordiques
  • 1994: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
  • 1993: Teemu Selanne, Winnipeg Jets
  • 1992: Pavel Bure, Vancouver Canucks
  • 1991: Ed Belfour, Chicago Blackhawks
  • 1990: Sergei Makarov, Calgary Flames
  • 1989: Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
  • 1988: Joe Nieuwendyk, Calgary Flames
  • 1987: Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings
  • 1986: Gary Suter, Calgary Flames
  • 1985: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1984: Tom Barrasso, Buffalo Sabres
  • 1983: Steve Larmer, Chicago Black Hawks
  • 1982: Dale Hawerchuk, Winnipeg Jets
  • 1981: Peter Stastny, Quebec Nordiques
  • 1980: Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins
  • 1979: Bobby Smith, Minnesota North Stars
  • 1978: Mike Bossy, New York Islanders
  • 1977: Willi Plett, Atlanta Flames
  • 1976: Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders
  • 1975: Eric Vail, Atlanta Flames
  • 1974: Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
  • 1973: Steve Vickers, New York Rangers
  • 1972: Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1971: Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres
  • 1970: Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks
  • 1969: Danny Grant, Minnesota North Stars
  • 1968: Derek Sanderson, Boston Bruins
  • 1967: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
  • 1966: Brit Selby, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1965: Roger Crozier, Detroit Red Wings
  • 1964: Jacques Laperriere, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1963: Kent Douglas, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1962: Bobby Rousseau, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1961: Dave Keon, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1960: Bill Hay, Chicago Black Hawks
  • 1959: Ralph Backstrom, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1958: Frank Mahovlich, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1957: Larry Regan, Boston Bruins
  • 1956: Glenn Hall, Detroit Red Wings
  • 1955: Ed Litzenberger, Chicago Black Hawks
  • 1954: Camille Henry, New York Rangers
  • 1953: Gump Worsley, New York Rangers
  • 1952: Bernie Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1951: Terry Sawchuk, Detroit Red Wings
  • 1950: Jack Gelineau, Boston Bruins
  • 1949: Pentti Lund, New York Rangers
  • 1948: Jim McFadden, Detroit Red Wings
  • 1947: Howie Meeker, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1946: Edgar Laprade, New York Rangers
  • 1945: Frank McCool, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1944: Gus Bodnar, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1943: Gaye Stewart, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1942: Grant Warwick, New York Rangers
  • 1941: Johnny Quilty, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1940: Kilby MacDonald, New York Rangers
  • 1939: Frank Brimsek, Boston Bruins
  • 1938: Cully Dahlstrom, Chicago Black Hawks
  • 1937: Syl Apps, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1936: Mike Karakas, Chicago Blackhawks
  • 1935: Sweeney Schriner, New York Americans
  • 1934: Russ Blinco, Montreal Maroons
  • 1933: Carl Voss, Detroit Red Wings