SAN JOSE – Buffalo Sabres rookie defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner each placed second in a category as the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced its midseason awards Thursday in conjunction with the start of All-Star Weekend.
Dahlin finished second in the midseason balloting for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year to Vancouver's Elias Pettersson, while Skinner finished second to New York Islanders goaltender and former Sabre Robin Lehner in the Comeback Player of the Year voting. That's a vote the PHWA takes at midseason for an award that is not currently handed out by the NHL.
Dahlin has five goals, 21 assists and 26 points in 48 games, easily one of the top offensive seasons for an 18-year-old defenseman in league history. Dahlin leads all rookie blueliners in scoring and had a five-game point streak snapped last Friday in Vancouver, leaving him tied with Bobby Orr, current Sabres coach Phil Housley and Florida's Aaron Ekblad as the only blueliners ever to get points in five straight games before turning 19.
Skinner will be here this weekend playing in his second career All-Star Game. He has a team-high 30 goals, already six more than he did last year in Carolina, and is just seven shy of his career high of 37 set two years ago.
There were 125 votes cast in 10 categories for the Midseason Awards, which were revived last year in the spirit of the "Half Season" Awards voted upon by the PHWA through 1968. The group's members vote for many of the honors handed out by the league at the annual NHL Awards Show in June in Las Vegas.
The complete Midseason Awards list:
Hart Trophy (MVP): Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay; Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary; Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Norris Trophy (best defenseman): Mark Giordano, Calgary; Morgan Rielly, Toronto; Brent Burns, San Jose
Selke Trophy (best defensive forward): Patrice Bergeron, Boston; Aleksander Barkov, Florida; Mark Stone, Ottawa
Calder Trophy (best rookie): Elias Pettersson, Vancouver; Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo; Miro Heiskanen, Dallas
Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct): Aleksander Barkov, Florida; Morgan Rielly, Toronto; Sean Monahan, Calgary
Vezina Trophy (best goaltender): John Gibson, Anaheim; Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas; Frederik Andersen, Toronto
Jack Adams Award (best coach): Barry Trotz, New York Islanders; Bill Peters, Calgary; Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay
GM of the Year Award: Brad Treliving, Calgary; Doug Wilson, San Jose; Lou Lamoriello, New York Islanders
Rod Langway Award (best defensive defenseman): Mattias Ekholm, Nashville; Mark Giordano, Calgary; Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay
Comeback Player of the Year: Robin Lehner, New York Islanders; Jeff Skinner, Buffalo; Zach Parise, Minnesota