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Richards finalist for rookie award


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 12, 2001

Lightning center Brad Richards was named Friday as one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL's top rookie. He is Tampa Bay's first nominee for the award.

Richards' competition is Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, the favorite, and Senators forward Martin Havlat.

"I'm happy with my year and happy with what I've done," Richards said from Mykonos, Greece, where he and teammate Vinny Lecavalier are on vacation. "I played well at the World Championships, and I know I can compete with those people. But whatever happens now is out of my control."

Richards, 21, a third-round selection (64th overall) at the 1998 draft, led all rookies in goals (21), assists (41), points (62), power-play points (26) and power-play assists (19), and tied for the lead with 179 shots.

Nabokov was 32-21-7 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. Havlat's 42 points were third among rookies. He was plus-8.

The winner will be announced June 14.

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