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Dominik Kubalik Named Calder Cup Finalist

Dominik Kubalik Named Calder Cup Finalist

With the NHL season ramping up on August 1st and the Chicago Blackhawks actually in play to hoist Lord Stanley this summer, another piece of good news for the Hawks came across the board as forward Dominik Kubalik, from Czech Republic, was selected as one of three finalists for the Calder Cup Trophy, an award given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.” So, the “Rookie of the Year” award for hockey. Kubalik was listed as finalists along with Cale Makar, defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, and Quinn Hughes, defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks.
Kubalik was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, but traded to the Blackhawks in 2019. Unfortunately, Kubalik started off on the wrong skate and was struggling to maintain consistent play, despite frequently being on the same line as Captain, Jonathan Toews. Kublaik was a healthy scratch (essentially a benching) for a game on November 7th. But 24-year-old Czech player was his own harshest critic and by January, he was in full stride and strung together many well-played games including a stretch of 10 goals in 8 games spanning from early to mid-January. He really started to raise eyebrows on the team and, evidently, across the league as well. Kubalik credits his turnaround to being able to work so closely with linemate and Captain, Jonathan Toews.
By the pandemic-shortened-season’s end, Dominik Kubalik had racked up 30 goals and 16 assists in only 68 games. The rookies with the next closest goals total came in at 20, significantly lower than Kubalik. 26 of Kubalik’s 30 goals occurred during even strength, an impressive feat, which was seventh best in the league! While one of the youngest Hawks may have had an impressive season, all signs point to Makar and Hughes as the front-runners for the trophy. Nevertheless, Kubalik has made himself known as a legitimate scoring threat and one of the best up-and-coming offensive players in the league. Great news for a rebuilding Blackhawks team!