The NHL released the three finalists for each of the league’s annual awards over the past 12 days, culminating with the Hart Trophy on April 28th. Let’s take a brief look at the finalists for each piece of silverware for 2018/19 campaign. The winners will be introduced at the annual league awards banquet on June 19th in Las Vegas.
Frank Selke Trophy
The Selke award goes to the best defensive forward with the finalists being forwards Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s the eighth time Bergeron has been a finalist to set a new league high, and he’s already won it four times.
The 33-year-old Bergeron ranked eighth in face-off percentage at 56.6 per cent and notched four shorthanded goals. He also led his team’s forwards in blocked shots and posted 79 points on 32 goals and 47 assists and went plus-23.
The 28-year-old O’Reilly topped the league in face-offs and posted 28 goals and 49 assists for 77 points while going plus-22. He was second on his team in goals and first in assists, points and points per game at .94. He led St. Louis forwards in ice time and was ranked fourth in the league with his 94 takeaways.
The 26-year-old Stone scored a career best 33 goals and 73 points and was tops in the league with his 122 takeaways. He notched six goals and 20 points on the power-play and had 71 blocked shots. Stone finished sixth in Selke voting in 2016/17.
Lady Byng Trophy
The Lady Byng is given to the player who best combines skill and gentlemanly play. The finalists are forwards Ryan O’Reilly of St. Louis, the Florida Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov and Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames.
The 23-year-old Barkov set a franchise record with his 96 points in 82 games which came on 35 goals and 61 helpers. He was second in the league with 100 takeaways and served just eight minutes in penalties even though he played the fourth-most minutes for forwards in the league. This is the third time in the last four years Barkov has been a finalist for the Lady Byng.
The 24-year-old Monahan scored a career-best in goals, assists and points with 34, 48 and 82 respectively. He was tied for first on the Flames with 78 takeaways and scored 23 points on the power-play. Monahan became the second Calgary player behind Kent Nilsson to post six straight seasons of at least 20 goals and served only 12 minutes in penalties.
The 28-year-old O’Reilly is also a finalist for the Selke Trophy. He posted 77 points and led the league ion faceoff wins while serving a dozen minutes in penalties. O’Reilly took the Lady Byng home in 2013/14 as a member of the Colorado Avalanche and was runner up last season as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
Bill Masterton Trophy
The Masterton is awarded to the player who exemplifies dedication and perseverance to hockey while also displaying sportsmanship. The nominees are forward Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders’ goaltender Robin Lehner and San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton.
The 31-year-old Foligno had to deal with his young children’s serious health problems, but came back to play and helped the Blue Jackets reach the postseason. The team captain played 73 games, scored 17 goals and 35 points and was second on the squad in hits.
The 27-year-old Lehner went 25-13-5 and posted a goals-against average of 2.13 and a save percentage of 93.0 in 46 games. He overcame addiction and bipolar disorder to share the Jennings Trophy for the best goals against with teammate Thomas Greiss.
The 39-year-old Thornton overcame major knee injuries over the past two years to score 16 goals and 51 points in 73 contests this year and help lead his team to the postseason.
The 32-year-old Bishop ranked first in save percentage at 93.4, second in GAA at 1.98 and third in shutouts with seven while going 27-15-2.
The 27-year-old Lehner went 25-13-5 with six shutouts. He was second in the league with his 93.0 save percentage and his 2.13 GAA was third best. He shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with teammate Thomas Greiss for allowing the fewest goals against.
The 24-year-old Vasilevskiy led the league with 39 wins and posted six shutouts. He had a GAA of 2.40 with a 92.5 save percentage.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
The 34-year-old Burns led all blue liners in assists with 67 and points at 83. He was also first with 300 shots on goal and six game-winning markers. He became the first Sharks rearguard to reach 60 assists and also posted five shorthanded points.
The 35-year-old Giordano was second in rearguard scoring at a career-best 74 points and led the league with his plus-39 mark. The Calgary captain led his team in ice time, posted 21 points on the power-play and six while shorthanded.
The 28-year-old Hedman is going for his second straight Norris Trophy. He posted 12 goals and 54 points, four game-winners and two overtime markers in 70 outings.
Calder Memorial Trophy
The Calder is awarded to the league’s best rookie with the finalists being goaltender Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin of Buffalo and Vancouver Canucks’ center Elias Pettersson.
The 25-year-old Binnington played 32 games after being called up from the AHL. He went 24-5-1 with a league-low GAA of 1.89 and save percentage of 92.7 with five shutouts. He set a new team record for wins by a rookie
The 19-year-old Dahlin led first-year blue liners in assists with 35, points with 44 and 20 power-play points while his nine goals ranked second. He scored four game-winners to set a record for a teenage defenseman.
The 20-year-old Pettersson set a team record 66 points for a rookie on 28 goals and 38 assists in 71 outings. He led all first-year players in goals, assists, and points and also set a rookie team record with his seven game-winners.
Hart Memorial Trophy
The Hart is generally considered king of the trophies as it’s given to the player judged the most valuable to his club. The finalists are Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ skipper Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov of Tampa.
The 31-year-old Crosby posted 35 goals and 100 points. He was fifth in the league in faceoff wins and played an average of 21 minutes per night.
The 25-year-old Kucherov led the league in scoring to win the Art Ross Trophy. He posted 41 goals and 87 helpers for 128 points in 82 contests to set a new season record for a Russian player. His assist and point totals are also new Tampa club records. His 128 points are the fourth-highest total in league history.
The 22-year-old McDavid was second in league scoring this year with 41 goals and 75 helpers for 116 points. He notched nine game-winners to tie for first place and had a trio of overtime winners.
Jack Adams Award
This trophy is for the coach of the year with the finalists being Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper and the Islanders’ Barry Trotz.
Berube took over from the fired Mike Yeo in November when his team was 7-9-3. They were in last place in the league in early January but posted an 11-game winning streak and went 30-10-5 over the second half of the season to make the playoffs and finish in a second-place tie in the Central Division. The team went 38-19-6 with Berube in charge.
Cooper’s team went 62-16-4 to win the Presidents’ Trophy for the most points in the regular season and tied a league record with 62 victories. Tampa registered at least 30 wins both at home and on the road and led the league in power-play and penalty-killing percentage.
Trotz helped the Islanders go from the league’s worst defensive team in 2017/18 to the best defensive side this season. The Islanders went 48-27-7 for 103 points to rank fifth in the NHL.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
The finalists for the King Clancy Trophy are Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild. The award is for players who exemplify on and off-ice leadership qualities and contribute to charity in their community.
Mark Messier Leadership Award
The Messier Award is somewhat similar to the King Clancy Trophy as it is given for leadership and contributions to the community. This year’s finalists are Mark Giordano of Calgary, Wayne Simmonds of the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes’ captain Justin Williams.