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Michael Grabner Michael Grabner #40 of the New York Islanders skates on his way to winning fastest skater during the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition part of 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the RBC Center on January 29, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In case you live under a rock and didn’t hear, Michael Grabner was names one of the finalist for NHL Rookie of the Year.  Grabner is going head to head to head with San Jose’s Logan Couture and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner.

Grabner was this year’s Islanders redemption story; He found his way after being traded by the Canucks and waived by the Florida Panthers. Grabner lead the Islanders and all NHL rookies in goals scored netting 34 this season. Grabner also won fastest skater at the fastest skater competition and scored 16 goals in 15 games from January 15 to February 15.

However early indications suggest that Grabner is not the favorite to win the Calder Trophy. The fact that the NY chapter of the PHWA isn’t voting doesn’t help his case either.

Grabner, who is a new father, has had a hell of a season and is very deserving of the nomination, even if he’s very humble about the whole thing. I remember a conversation I had with the Calder finalist about what it meant to him to be in the running for the award. He told me he wasn’t too worried about it and just wanted to help the team win.

For the Islanders organization, the nomination is a good sign of things to come and after the season they had it really gives fans hope for next season.

Note- Newsday’s Katie Strang is reporting that the Islanders and Grabner’s agent have not begun discussions about a new contract. According to the report by the Isles beat writer the team is expected to offer him a, well earned, multi-year deal.