NHL Awards winners announced

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 Washington Capitals.

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 Colorado.

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.