By Jack Fenty
Hart Trophy- Player judged as most valuable to his team(MVP).
Player: Nathan Mackinnon (COL)
Why: Nathan Mackinnon is a huge reason for the turnaround of the Colorado Avalanche. He has 60 points in 48 games. Another statistic that is noteworthy is the fact he has 7 game-winning goals. Nikita Kucherov has 64 points in 49 games but he has guys on the team to help him; that’s why I give the nod to the 22-year-old Mackinnon.
Norris Trophy- Best Defenseman.
Player: Drew Doughty (LAK)
Why: I hate when the Norris becomes the award for the D-man with the most points. That is why I did not choose John Klingberg (DAL); who has 48 points in 50 game which is impressive for a defenseman. I picked Drew Doughty because I feel he is the most balanced d-man in the NHL. He not only is unbelievable on defense but has 35 points in 49 games and a +/- of 17.
Vezina Trophy- Best goaltender.
Player: Andrei Vasilevsky (TBL)
Why: It is super hard not to pick Andrei Vasilevsky to win this award. He leads the league in wins with 29 and has a .931 save percentage. Save percentage is the best indicator of how well a goalie is really playing. Vasey is one of the focal points of the TBL team who are bound for going deep in the playoffs. Honorable mention must go to Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) who is having an amazing season for the Jets and is a huge part of their success so far, this season.
Selke Trophy- Best defensive forward.
Player: Patrice Bergeron
Why: You just have to ask the centers in the NHL regarding this guy. Most would say Bergy is a defensive beast and a nightmare matchup to play against.
Masterson Trophy- Most dedicated to hockey.
Player: Brian Boyle (NJD)
Why: You want to talk about a warrior? Brian Boyle fits that title; he is playing while treating chronic myeloid leukemia. Boyle is taking two pills a day to fight off the cancer and he is doing that while scoring 11 goals in 38 games for the surprising New Jersey Devils. What a story.
Lady Byng Trophy- Most gentlemanly player.
Player: Ryan O’Reilly (BUF)
Why: For a league that calls every little slash and hold it is truly impressive that O’Reilly has only two penalty minutes in 48 games this season. That statistic is remarkable. On the other hand, Michael Haley of Florida has 131 penalty minutes in 46 games. Only a 129 minute difference!
Calder Trophy- Best rookie.
Player: Mat Barzal (NYI)
Why: The second line center for the New York Islanders behind John Tavares; Mat Barzal is 15th in points in the league in his first year. He has 51 in 50 games. This guy is an electric playmaker and is so fun to watch. As an Isles fan I am glad Boston passed on him with three straight picks…
Jack Adams Award- Coach of the year.
Coach: Gerard Gallant (VGK)
Why: The first place Vegas Golden Knights is the greatest storyline of the NHL season so far. They are 34-12-3 with players who were given up on with their past team. Gerard Gallant was also given up on from his former team; he was fired as the head coach of the Panthers. Gallant is doing something right to be able to get this team to where they are today in the standings.
General Manager of the year award- Best GM.
GM: George McPhee (VGK)
Why: McPhee had the challenge and opportunity to build a NHL roster from total scratch. McPhee choose players who were not wanted by their previous team. He built a team of “misfits” to put in nicely. Now the Vegas Knights are first in the NHL with a 34-12-3 and have only lost one regular season series.
Follow @NHLNosebleed for more!