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“There were a lot of good rookies this year,” Huberdeau said. “I wasn’t expecting anything and I’d glad I won it.”

The Panthers center played in all 48 games for Florida, ranking second both on the team and among NHL rookies with 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists). Among first-year players, he finished third in goals, fourth in assists and third in shots on goal (112).

“For sure it helped that I had more ice time than I was expecting to have with all the injuries we had,” he said.

“You don’t have to think when you play every other game,” he added. “I wasn’t thinking about the Calder. I was just playing my game at and the end I got the trophy.”