The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas was the scene of the 2017-18 NHL Awards last night, and there were many winners the world over. Half of the 12 top trophies went to Europeans, and half that number were Swedes.
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, the fastest hockey player the game has ever seen, captured the Ted Lindsay Award for the second straight season, beating out Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon for MVP as voted on by the players.
McDavid’s season was both magnificent and disappointing, the former because he led the league in scoring for the second year in a row, also taking home the Art Ross Trophy with 108 points; the latter because the Oilers failed again to make the playoffs.
Strangely, McDavid wasn’t even nominated for the Hart Trophy, which he also won last year. This year’s winner, Taylor Hall of the Devils, was a former teammate of McDavid in Edmonton and led the Devils in scoring with 93 points. Other nominees included MacKinnon and LA’s Anze Kopitar of Slovenia. All three were Hart nominees for the first time. Hall had 1,264 points to MacKinnon’s 1194, while Kopitar was well back with 551.
Kopitar won the Selke Trophy as a sort of consolation prize for his Hart loss, his second win in this category and fourth nomination in the last five years.
Tampa Bay defenceman Victor Hedman of Sweden was named Norris Trophy winner. He earned more votes than two previous winners, Drew Doughty of the Kings (2016) and P.K. Subban of Nashville (2013, Montreal). Hedman is the third Swede ever to win the Norris after Nicklas Lidstrom and Erik Karlsson.
Mathew Barzal of the Islanders was easily voted the Calder Trophy winner as top rookie. He recorded an impressive 85 points in his first season, beating out Brock Boeser in Vancouver and Clayton Keller in Arizona. Barzal was the 15th overall draft choice in 2015 for NYI.
Alexander Ovechkin won the Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the league in goals in the regular season. He had a career year in so many ways, winning the trophy for the seventh time in the last 11 years, scoring his 600th career goal along the way, winning his first Stanley Cup, and also being named Conn Smythe Trophy winner. It was a season the future Hall of Famer will never forget, that’s for sure.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin, recently retired, left the league with a final piece of hardware, co-winning the King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts.
The popular giant, Brian Boyle of New Jersey, won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance after he battled a form of leukemia early in the season.
Vegas, meanwhile, capped its magnificent season with two awards. William Karlsson had a career year with 43 goals (third overall in the league) and was named winner of the Lady Byng Trophy, and coach Gerard Gallant was the runaway winner of the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, taking the expansion Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup finals in their first season.
The two goaltender awards went to Jonathan Quick of L.A. (Jennings Trophy) and Pekka Rinne of Nashville (Vezina Trophy). Rinne’s win was the first after three unsuccessful nominations, and the 35-year-old Finn out-voted Connor Hellebuyck of Winnipeg and Andrei Vasilevskiy of Tampa Bay. Rinne had 42 wins on the year, third behind the other two nominees who both had 44.
Summary of Winners
Ted Lindsay Award—Connor McDavid (Edmonton)
Hart Trophy—Taylor Hall (New Jersey)
Art Ross Trophy—Connor McDavid (Edmonton)
Rocket Richard Trophy—Alexander Ovechkin (Washington)
Norris Trophy—Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay)
Calder Trophy—Mathew Barzal (NY Islanders)
Vezina Trophy—Pekka Rinne (Nashville)
Jennings Trophy—Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles)
Lady Byng—William Karlsson (Vegas)
Masterton Trophy—Brian Boyle (New Jersey)
Selke Trophy—Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles)
King Clancy Award—Daniel & Henrik Sedin
Jack Adams Award—Gerard Gallant (Vegas)