A look at our mid-season NHL awards winners
We’re halfway through the 2016-17 NHL season and a few players have already made their mark. A lot of names you’ll see as nominees for the NHL awards will be same old same old, but a few new players have shown promise.
Hart Trophy (League MVP)
Sidney Crosby – This is no surprise to anyone, he’s the best player in the game and continues to show us that night in and night out. He is 2nd in the league in points behind only two players who have played six or more games than him.
- Connor McDavid – Another year or two, and this will be no surprise either. McDavid is captaining the Oilers to their first decent season since 2005-06 when they last made the playoffs, and Connor was 9 years old. He is currently the NHL points leader with 45.
- Devan Dubnyk – The goaltender has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, this season he’s been nothing but. He leads the league in save percentage, goals against average, and shutouts; and has propelled the Minnesota Wild into the number two seed in the Western Conference.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie)
- Devan Dubnyk – The aforementioned Hart Trophy candidate would certainly win the Vezina at this point in the season. He has been nothing short of spectacular.
- Sergei Bobrovsky – Bobrovsky has certainly made his case towards winning the Vezina Trophy, being second place in every stat Dubnyk leads. He is first in the wins category; a big reason for the Blue Jackets 16 game winning streak and their spot at the top of the league standings.
- Tuukka Rask/Carey Price – I’m calling it a tie between these two division rival goalies. Price has been in his usual form and Rask looks to be back to his Vezina-winning level of play. Both have 19 wins on the season, Price has the slight edge in GAA and Sv% midway through.
Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman)
- Victor Hedman – The 6’6” Lightning defenseman is tied with Burns for most points by a defenseman. He is ranked 2nd in the league in power play points with a whopping 18. All while maintaining a +4 plus/minus and keeping his team who is without captain Steven Stamkos and starting goalie Ben Bishop, above a .500 record only 3 points out of the playoffs.
- Brent Burns – Burns is one of only two defensemen in the top 15 point scorers in the league with 37 in 39 games. He is solid defensively with a +12 plus/minus, and continues to be a phenomenal power play quarterback with 11 PP points on the season.
- Erik Karlsson – Not an unfamiliar name for this award, Karlsson continues to dominate the league offensively from the back end. With 32 points in 37 games, you can bet the 2 time Norris Trophy winner will be on the ballot again in 2017.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
- Patrik Laine – Currently leading all rookies in points and goals, 18-year-old Laine will be an NHL star for years to come. He has 21 goals in 41 games with 36 points in that time, good for 12th in the league.
- Zach Werenski – The Columbus blue liner came seemingly out of nowhere for fans not paying close attention to Blue Jackets’ prospects. He has been a huge part of the Blue Jackets’ success with his 25 points in 36 games and his 15 power play points from defense.
- Auston Matthews – With 34 points so far in his rookie season, the 2016 first overall pick has certainly lived up to the hype. He is 17th in the league in points and 2nd in goals and points scored by a rookie, trailing only Laine.
Jack Adams Award (Top Coach)
- John Tortorella – He took his team from finishing 8th in the Metropolitan Division last season, to leading the league at the halfway point of this one. Some may have had them down as a playoff team before the season’s start, but no one saw them as #1 headed into 2017.
- Bruce Boudreau – After being fired by the Anaheim Ducks in the offseason, the Minnesota Wild hired the veteran coach who won his division the past 4 years. He seems to have helped the Wild find their touch, as they’ve earned the 2nd most points in the Western Conference and a goal differential of +38. The Wild struggled offensively in recent years, Boudreau seems to have helped in that department.
- Mike Sullivan – After taking over at the halfway point of last season and leading the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship, Sullivan has continued his success right where he left off. 2nd to only Columbus in the East, the Penguins and their star-studded offense will continue to be a force. They are 2nd in the goals-for department with 133 in 38 games played.