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Two former Wolverines are finalists for the NHL’s Calder Trophy

Seattle’s Matty Beniers and Buffalo’s Owen Power are two of the three finalists for NHL Rookie of the Year.

Seattle Kraken v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Two former Michigan Wolverines are among the three finalists for the prestigious Calder Trophy in the NHL.

The former top two picks of the 2021 NHL Draft — No. 1 overall pick Owen Power of the Buffalo Sabres and No. 2 overall pick Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken — join Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner as players in contention for this award.

Presented annually since 1933, the trophy is in recognition of the league’s top rookie, and both Beniers and Power have a strong case.

Power has revitalized a Buffalo franchise that, until this season, had not had a winning record since 2010-11. Only trailing Rasmus Dahlin, Power was the second-highest-scoring defenseman on the team finishing the season with 35 points (four G, 31 A).

Beniers has also helped spark a franchise, but a vastly younger franchise. In only its second year of existence, the Seattle Kraken is still alive in the NHL Playoffs. As it stands right now, Beniers is fourth on the team in points (57), second in goals (24) and fourth in assists (33).

Beniers and Power are the first former Wolverines to be finalists for the Calder since Zach Werenski in 2017. No former Michigan player has ever won the award.

During their two seasons at Michigan, Beniers and Power helped guide the Wolverines to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a Big Ten Tournament Championship and Frozen Four berth in 2022. As sophomores at U-M, Beniers was a first-team All-American and Power was a second-team All-American.

The winner will be announced at the 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 26.