The NHL awards the Calder Memorial Trophy each year "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League."
Last year's winner was Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Skinner was the league's youngest player last season at 18, and lead all rookies with 63 points. He also scored 31 goals and established himself as a good all-round hockey player despite his young age.
Some players who will receive consideration for the Calder this year, without being finalists, include Sabres center Cody Hodgson, Flyers winger Matt Read and Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner.
Henrique leads all rookies with 43 points as the season enters the home stretch.
The Devils' rookie is a plus-nine on the season, and looks like he belongs on the top line along with stars like Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. He has also contributed on both the power play (six assists) and the penalty kill (four shorthanded goals and three helpers).
Henrique got off to a slow start this season, and actually had a bad training camp. After a brief stint in the minors, however, Henrique has shown he's here to stay.
“What makes Adam special is that he’s unflappable,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer told the National Post. “He’s playing with two of the top-10 forwards in the world on either wing, and you’re a 19 or 20-year-old kid, and he’s not intimidated.”
Nugent-Hopkins was a preseason favorite for the Calder after being selected first overall in this year's draft by the Edmonton Oilers.
The big question surrounding "The Nudge" was whether or not he could withstand the physical strain of playing against grown men in the NHL.
Before suffering a pair of shoulder injuries, Nugent-Hopkins was leading all rookies in scoring. He has 39 points in 45 games and had he not missed so many games due to injury, he would have almost certainly been the runaway choice for rookie of the year.
Nugent-Hopkins has excelled on the power play, with more than half of his points (including 17 assists) coming with the man advantage. He had a hat trick in only his third career NHL game, and later picked up five assists in another contest.
As he matures physically, there is little doubt Nugent-Hopkins can continue to grow into a premier NHL player. But will his injuries cost him the Calder?
Gabriel Landeskog was chosen second in this year's NHL Entry Draft behind Nugent-Hopkins. He is now second overall among rookie scorers, and leads the Colorado Avalanche with 18 goals.
The 19-year-old Swede plays a solid two-way game, and is a plus-20 on the season. Landeskog is already 6'1" and more than 200 pounds and once he fills out physically, will likely be a power forward.
Jeff Skinner, who won the Calder last year, played with Landeskog in juniors and knows his former teammate can be a special player.
"He's got all the tools," Skinner told Yahoo! Sports. "He's strong. He's fast. He can shoot. Beyond that, I think he has the intangibles that are hard to come by. He thinks the game well, and I think guys like to play on his team."
While the Calder Trophy is not a guarantee of future success, a lot of Hall of Fame players won the award in their first NHL season.
Players like Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Ray Bourque, Mario Lemiuex, Martin Brodeur and Teemu Selanne captured the Calder Trophy.
This year's winner hopes to add to the strong legacy of being the NHL's top rookie.