Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets finished third as a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's most outstanding rookie. He was up against Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Werenski stepped in as a rookie defenseman, supposedly the hardest position to adjust to, and immediately took off. Werenski was the Rookie of the Month for the NHL in November and never looked back.
Werenski registered 11 goals and 36 assists in his rookie campaign, good for the most points by a Blue Jackets rookie in franchise history as well as second most points by a defenseman in franchise history.
Werenski showed up and played first pairing minutes all season with Seth Jones, announcing his presence with authority. He also quarterbacked the first power play unit that clicked so effectively in the first half of the season.
Werenski may not have brought the trophy home, but he's the rookie of the year in our hearts. He can't get back on the ice soon enough, and we can't wait to see him.
Congratulations on a great rookie season, Zach Werenski!