Even an incredible season wasn't enough to declare Johnny Gaudreau the best rookie of the year, although it was close. The Calgary Flames forward finished as a finalist alongside Mark Stone, but in the end, lost the Calder Trophy to Aaron Ekblad.
All three were worthy finalists in an exceptional rookie class that even saw Filip Forsberg and John Klingberg on the outside looking in. There could only be one winner, though, and Ekblad's top pairing minutes as an 18-year-old to bring the Florida Panthers just within reach of the playoffs made him as deserving as any.
That's not to say Gaudreau shouldn't have won, though. He was consistently a top player for the Flames, and while Ekblad played top minutes on defence, Gaudreau played heavy minutes as a forward. You couldn't have asked for anything more from him.
That said, though, that's just the way things go sometimes. Your guy doesn't always win, and it's fine. A Calder Trophy would be nice, but not winning one isn't the end of the world; after all, most outstanding NHL players have never been named rookie of the year.
Gaudreau is already an outstanding player, and the fact that we get to look forward to watching him for so many more years makes us, as Flames fans, the real winners here.