The NHL handed out the rest of its annual awards on Sept. 21St, prior to the second game of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. The big winner was centre Leon Draisaitl of the the Edmonton Oilers as he took home both the Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.
The Hart Trophy goes to the player deemed the most valuable to his team as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) while the Ted Lindsay Award is basically awarded to the best player in the league as voted on by his peers in the NHL Players’ Association. The 24-year-old also won the Art Ross Trophy earlier as the league’s leading scorer this season with 110 points. He had the fourth-most goals in the league with 43 and led the NHL in assists with 67.
The other Hart and Lindsay finalists were forwards Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers. MacKinnon was the fifth-highest scorer in the league this season with 35 goals and 58 assists for 93 points while Panarin was tied with Pastrnak for third overall with 32 goals and 63 assists for 95 points. MacKinnon finished second in the Hart and Lindsay voting followed by Panarin.
Draisaitl becomes the fourth Oiler to win each of the awards after Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Connor McDavid. Draisaitl also led the league in points-per-game at 1.55 and 44 power-play points. He co-shared the lead for 10 game-winning goals with David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins and placed second for his 66 even-strength points and 16 power-play goals.
Defenceman Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche was honoured with the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year to become the sixth franchise player to win it. The others were Peter Stastny and Peter Forsberg of the Quebec Nordiques as well as Chris Drury, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon with the Avalanche.
The 21-year-old Makar led all rookie blue liners in goals with 12 and power-play markers with four. His 38 assists and 50 points were good enough for second place. He tallied 19 power-play points, four game-winning goals, finished with a plus-12 rating and played an average of 21:01 of ice time each contest.
The voting was done by the PHWA with Vancouver Canucks’ rearguard Quinn Hughes placing second and Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Dominik Kubalik coming third. The 20-year-old Hughes led rookies with 45 assists, 53 points and 25 power-play points while the 25-year-old Kubalik led first-year players with 30 goals, 38 even-strength points and 26 even-strength goals.
The Norris Trophy winner as the best defenceman was awarded to captain Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, making him the first player from the franchise to win it. Josi posted a career-best 16 goals, 49 assists and 65 points and ranked second in the NHL in each of those offensive categories. He also set club records for his assists and point total.
John Carlson of the Washington Capitals finished second in voting with Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning coming third. Carlson led all blue liners with a career-best 60 assists and 75 points as well as six-game-winners while tallying 15 goals. Hedman notched 11 goals and 44 helpers for 55 points. This was also voted on by the PHWA.
The Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender went to Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets. He led the league with six shutouts and tied for games played at 58. He placed second in wins with 31, seventh in save percentage at 92.2, posted a goals-against average of 2.57 with a 31-21-5 record and faced the most shots in the NHL at 1,796 and made the most saves with 1,656. He’s now the first player in franchise history to win the award after placing second in voting in 2017-18.
Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins finished second on the ballots and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning placed third with the votes coming from the league’s 31 general managers. Rask went
26-8-6 this season and led the league with a (2.12 goals-against average and was second with a 92.9 save percentage and five shutouts. He won the Jennings Trophy earlier this season for allowing the fewest goals against. Last year’s Vezina winner, Vasilevskiy, led the league with 35 wins and posted a mark of 35-14-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average, three shutouts and 91.7 save percentage.
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