|Devils centre Adam Henrique is one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters/Files)
NEWARK, N.J. - Adam Henrique doesn't pinch himself every day, but you couldn't blame him if he did.
"I'll go out to dinner with these guys ... Marty (Brodeur) and Kovy (Ilya Kovalchuk), and I'll be talking to my buddies back home about it, and I still can't really believe it," the New Jersey Devils forward said.
"I've been blessed with a good situation and things went well for me."
Henrique is one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, the NHL announced Friday. Also nominated were Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog and Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Landeskog and Nugent-Hopkins tied for the scoring lead among NHL freshmen during the season with 52 points. Landeskog had 22 goals and 30 assists and was plus-20 in 82 games. Nugent-Hopkins had 18 goals and 34 assists in 62 games and was minus-2.
Henrique, in 74 games for the Devils, had 16 goals and 35 assists (most among rookies) and was plus-8. He benefited from centring a line for most of the season with captain Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk as his wingers, a spot that was open because of Travis Zajac's Achilles injury.
Of the three Calder finalists, Henrique is the only one competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He has one assist in four games.
"It's a big honour to be nominated and I'm very proud of it," Henrique said. "When I started playing with Zach and Kovy, once we started to mesh, it gave me the extra confidence being here and being able to stick for the year. (The season is) beyond what I expected, really."