RALEIGH NC - JANUARY 28: Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes answers questions during NHL All Star Player Media Availability apart of the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the Raleigh Convention Center on January 28 2011 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Michael Grabner, Logan Couture, Jeff Skinner Named Finalists For Calder Trophy

The three Calder Trophy finalists aren't all that surprising. Logan Couture, Michael Grabner and Jeff Skinner are those finalists, and one of them will win the 2011 award on June 22 in Las Vegas.

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Michael Grabner, Logan Couture, Jeff Skinner Named Finalists For Calder Trophy

There are no surprises among the three 2011 Calder Trophy finalists.

Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes and Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks are the finalists for that award, handed out each year to the NHL's top rookie. Let's look at the case for each player.

Skinner's the youngest of the group at just 18 years of age, and his 31 goals this season made him the seventh-youngest player in NHL history to put up 30 goals. He's quickly turning into the face of hockey in Carolina, boosted by his profile at the 2011 All-Star Game, held in Raleigh back in January. He topped the rookie scoring list with 63 points, beating out his two closest competitors in Grabner and Couture.

Grabner is the most interesting case of the bunch. He was waived by the Florida Panthers just before the season before the Islanders gave him an ample opportunity to play some games. He thrived, turning the Panthers misstep into a huge boon for Garth Snow and the Isles. He led rookie goal scorers with 34 and played primarily on a unit with Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo

Couture is one of those guys who's only technically a rookie after playing 25 games with the Sharks in 2009-10. Still, he played a huge role in the Sharks 2010-11 success, using the experience gained in those 25 games to help boost him onto a line with Dany Heatley and Ryane Clowe. He scored 32 goals during the year, but he became most known for his clutch performances, scoring eight game-winning goals. 

We'll find out the winner of this year's Calder Trophy at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 22.

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