ST. PAUL, Minn. – Blackhawks rookie Brandon Saad thought that he had a good regular season.
Then again, Saad thought that a lot of rookies around the NHL had a good regular season.
On Monday, Saad learned that the NHL considered him as one of the top three newcomers in 2013. The Hawks’ 20-year-old forward was named as a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, which is given to the league’s best rookie.
Joining Saad as finalists were Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher and Florida Panthers center Justin Huberdeau. The winner will be named during the Stanley Cup Final series.
“It’s a big honor,” Saad said. “But it’s the same approach as before.”
That approach helped Saad to emerge as a talented scorer alongside star-caliber teammates such as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. In 46 regular-season games, Saad scored 27 points (10 G, 17 A), which tied for fourth on the team.
Eight players in Hawks franchise history have won the Calder Memorial Trophy, including Kane (2007-08), Ed Belfour (1990-91) and Steve Larmer (1982-83).
Kane said he was pulling for Saad to join the club.
“I’m happy for him,” Kane said. “He had a great year, and he deserves it.”