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Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov wins 2021 Calder Trophy

Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov beats out Hurricanes’ Alex Nedeljkovic and Stars’ Jason Robertson to take home the 2021 Calder Memorial Trophy, as the player most proficient in his first year of competition.

To little surprise, sensational Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov won the 2021 Calder Trophy. While Kaprizov took it home, the other Calder Trophy finalists were Alex Nedeljkovic (Hurricanes) and Jason Robertson (Stars).

Last season, Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar won the Calder Trophy.

2008 Calder Trophy winner Patrick Kane presented Kaprizov as the 2021 winner, and also interviewed the winger. (Kaprizov spoke through a translator.)

Wild’s Kaprizov wins 2021 Calder Trophy

The Professional Hockey Writers Association awarded Kaprizov the 2021 Calder Trophy, which is given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.” In plain English, it’s the NHL’s rookie of the year award.

After years of hype, Kaprizov blew high expectations out of the water. He scored 27 goals and 51 points over 55 games to complete a remarkable rookie season. His first NHL campaign was so fantastic, it’s made for a slightly bumpy-looking round of negotiations regarding Kaprizov’s next contract.


Kaprizov made an immediate impact for the Wild, and he was a Calder frontrunner at the midpoint of the season. While Robertson made things interesting for a while, he fell short, except in the eyes of the Stars:

Check out the PHWA’s Calder voting results:


The age question

About the closest thing to a Calder controversy is age. Kaprizov turned 24 during the 2020-21 season (April 26), so plenty of people contend that he’s an awfully seasoned “rookie.” After all, part of what made Kaprizov so captivating was watching his KHL highlights while wondering what he could accomplish for the Wild.

In case you’re wondering, Kaprizov’s fellow Calder finalist Nedeljkovic is 25, while Robertson turns 22 on July 22.

Also, in other rookie news, Kaprizov, Nedeljkovic, and Robertson were named to the All-Rookie Team. K’Andre Miller (Rangers), Ty Smith (Devils), and Josh Norris (Senators) also made the cut:


The following award NHL winners were announced earlier in the playoffs:

King Clancy: Pekka Rinne
Jack Adams Award: Rod Brind’Amour
Selke Trophy: Aleksander Barkov
Masterton Trophy: Oskar Lindblom
Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award: Lou Lamoriello
Lady Byng Trophy: Jaccob Slavin
Mark Messier Leadership Award: Patrice Bergeron
Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Kevin Hodgson

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.