The NHL held its annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada
on June 20th with Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils taking home
the Hart Memorial trophy as the league's most valuable player. Hall is the
first Devils player to capture the honour and it was his first tome as a
finalist. He finished the season with a career-high 93 points on 39 goals and
54 assists with 37 points coming on the power play. He also racked up 41 more
points than the next highest Devil this season. Hall edged out Nathan MacKinnon
of the Colorado Avalanche and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings in the
voting as well as Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and the Edmonton
Oilers' Connor McDavid.
However, McDavid was named the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award for the second
straight season. The young Oilers' captain was named the league's outstanding
player by his peers after scoring 41 goals and adding 67 assists for 108
points. McDavid became the first player to win the award twice before reaching
the age of 22. He's also the third Oiler to win the honours along with Mark
Messier and Wayne Gretzky.
The Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender went to
Finnish native Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. It was his first win and
fourth time being a finalist. Rinne posted the third-most wins in the league
this season at 42 and also had an 11-game winning streak this season as he
helped Nashville win the President's Trophy as the league's top team. Rinne
beat out Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, Andrei Vasilevskiy of the
Tampa Bay Lightning, Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs and
Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights. He becomes the first Predators'
goalie to win the award.
The Frank Selke Trophy was handed out to Anze Kopitar of Los
Angeles as the league's best defensive forward. Kopitar has now won the award
twice and he's been a finalist four times in the past five seasons. He led all
forwards in the NHL in total ice time in 2017/18 and was third in both faceoff
wins with 983 and total faceoffs at 1,816. Kopitar also chipped in with 35
goals and 57 assists for 92 points and helped the Kings to the best defensive
record in the league. He beat out Sean Couturier of Philadelphia, Patrice
Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers and
Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild.
The Vegas Golden Knights had four winners on the night as
forward William Karlsson of Sweden won the Lady Byng Trophy as the league's
most sportsmanlike player. The 25-year-old scored 43 goals and added 35 assists
and served just 12 minutes in penalties during the regular season. He also led
the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-49 rating. Karlsson beat out Ryan O'Reilly of
the Buffalo Sabres, Aleksander Barkov of Florida, Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles
and Jared Spurgeon of the New York Islanders.
Twenty-one-year-old Mathew Barzal of the Islanders was named the winner of the
Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie. The forward led all first-year
players in scoring with 22 goals and 63 assists for 85 points and is the fifth
Islander to win the award. Barzal beat out Brock Boeser of the Vancouver
Canucks, Clayton Keller of the Arizona coyotes, Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg
Jets and Charlie McAvoy of Boston on the ballot.
Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay was named the best defenceman in
the NHL for 2017/18 and took home the James Norris Memorial Trophy for his
efforts. He's the first Lightning player to win the award and the third Swedish
defenceman to take it home after finishing the year with 17 goals and 46
assists for 63 points. Hedman beat out Drew Doughty of Los Angeles, P.K. Subban
of Nashville, Seth Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets and John Carlson of the
Gerard Gallant of Vegas took home the Jack Adams Award as the
league's best coach after leading the expansion club to the Pacific Division
Title and the Stanley Cup Final. It's the first award for Gallant after being a
finalist while coaching the Florida Panthers in 2015/16. He became the first
head coach in the modern era to lead an expansion franchise to a division title
in any of North America's major pro sports leagues. Gallant beat out Bruce
Cassidy of Boston, Jared Bednar of Colorado, Paul Maurice of Winnipeg and Peter
Laviolette of Nashville in the voting.
There was no surprise when George McPhee was named the
General Manager of the Year as he put together the roster of the expansion
Vegas Golden Knights who posted a season record of 51-24-7 and reached the
Stanley Cup finals in their first year of operation. The club became the most
successful first-year team in NHL history. McPhee beat out Kevin Cheveldayoff
of Winnipeg, Steve Yzerman of Tampa Bay, Don Sweeney of Boston and Joe Sakic of
Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin of Vancouver were the
recipients of the King Clancy Trophy as the players to best exemplify
leadership qualities and humanitarian contributions to their community. The
Sedins were drafted number two and three in 1999 and are the only brothers in
NHL history to record at least 1,000 points each.
Forward Brian Boyle of New Jersey won the Bill Masterton
Memorial Trophy for his dedication, perseverance and sportsmanship to the game
of hockey. The 33-year-old Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia
just before the start of the season, but made his way back into the lineup by
November 1st and finished the campaign with 13 goals and 10 assists
and also represented New Jersey at the All Star Game.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award was won by forward Deryk
Engelland of the Vegas Golden Knights as he exemplified great leadership
qualities on and off of the ice this season and also helped grow the game of
hockey in his community. Engelland organized many events following the mass
shooting in Las Vegas last October and also worked with local firefighters to
raise money for children that couldn't afford to play the game of hockey.
Labels: Ian Palmer