The nominees for the Calder Trophy, given each year to the league's best rookie, were unveiled today. Columbus goalie Steve Mason, along with Anaheim winger Bobby Ryan and Chicago winger Kris Versteeg are the nominees.
Mason is the front-runner, after leading the league in shutouts with ten, and finishing second to Boston goalie Tim Thomas in goals-against-average. The shutout mark is second all time for a rookie, behind Tony Esposito, who recorded 15 in his first season.
You have to think that another Columbus rookie may have been in the mix- Derick Brassard. He and Versteeg were neck and neck in rookie scoring until Brassard injured his shoulder in a fight with Dallas winger James Neal. Given the fact that Brassard was with the team since the start of the season, whereas Ryan joined the Ducks later in the season, chances are good that the nominees may have been Mason, Brassard and Versteeg.
The Jackets are currently down 3-0 in their first round series with Detroit, it will be nearly impossible for Columbus to win four games in a row. If Mason can come away with the Calder, it will help offset the sting of an early playoff exit.