Michael Grabner was the breakout star for the New York Islanders this season and has the career path that you only hear about in movies.
Although already 23 years old, Grabner is a nominee for the Calder award, given to the player who performed their best in the first season of play. Grabner was drafted by Vancouver in 2006 but never caught on and then was in Florida but was waived before the Islanders picked him up.
Through the 76 games that Grabner dressed for the Islanders, he managed to put up 34 goals and 18 assists. Like his penalty killing partner, Frans Nielsen, Grabner was very good shorthanded, and was second in the NHL with six of those goals.
One of the strongest arguments for why Grabner should win the Calder is because despite the Islanders struggles as a team, he managed to finish plus 13.
Grabner’s 34 goals were actually eigth in the league, and the most of any rookie.
Islanders fans received the best off-season news they could when Grabner was signed for a five year contract, keeping him around until 2016. Hopefully he can produce a similar amount of goals and increase his assists with a healthy and also re-signed Kyle Okposo on the ice.
Grabner also represented the Islanders at the NHL All-Star game this year, winning the fastest skater competition.
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