LAS VEGAS — Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks has won the NHL’s first award of the night, claiming the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.
The 24-year-old Russian forward beat out Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who finished third in the voting.
Panarin scored 77 points in 80 games during his debut season in North America, leading all rookies in goals (30) and assists (47).
Although Panarin played seven pro seasons back home before coming stateside, voters didn’t object to his experience, awarding the trophy to a Chicago player for the first time since Patrick Kane won it in 2008.
McDavid was the No. 1 pick last summer. He scored 48 points in 45 games, his dynamite season shortened by two months thanks to a broken collarbone.