As another NHL season begins, we make our picks for the most prestigious awards handed out by the league at the end of the year.
Hart Memorial Trophy – Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid is the best player in the world right now and should be recognized as such. After not winning it last year, we expect him to be the same dominant player he’s always been and recapture the NHL’s MVP award from Auston Matthews. Matthews certainly deserved it last year, but we can’t see a prime McDavid not taking it back for the second time in three years.
Art Ross Trophy – Connor McDavid
The NHL’s MVP will also be the player with the most points in the league. McDavid has won this award four times in the last six seasons and we expect him to be on top once again this year. Over the last two years, he’s been 34 points ahead of the next closest player in that span, who happens to be his teammate, Leon Draisaitl.
Norris Trophy – Cale Makar
Cale Makar cemented his status as the league’s best defensemen in last year’s Stanley Cup run with the Avs. He simply can do things that others cannot with the puck on his stick, and the gap between him and ordinary players is becoming increasingly obvious. At his age, he should still only be getting better, which makes him an easy pick to repeat at the Norris Trophy winner.
Calder Trophy – Matty Beniers
The second overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, Beniers could flourish this year for the Kraken. In a lineup without top end players, he’ll get every opportunity to turn himself into one of Seattle’s first household names alongside Shane Wright. Beniers has already shown himself to be capable at this level as well, grabbing nine points in ten games at the end of last season.
Vezina Trophy – Jacob Markstrom
Last year’s shutout leader may have an even better defence around him than last year, and although this is a goalie award, they rarely seem to win one without a solid defensive group helping out. Markstrom has proven himself as one of the better goalies in the league up to this point of his career, but with a focus on Calgary this season given their rollercoaster of an offseason, now is his time to really shine.
Maurice Richard Trophy – Auston Matthews
Last year’s MVP is simply the best scorer in the world at the moment. After the tear he was on last season, seeing Matthews go for 60 once again would not surprise us in the slightest.
Jack Adams Trophy – Bruce Cassidy
Vegas has a lot to prove after last season’s struggles, and so does their new coach. After moving on from Boston, Bruce Cassidy comes to Vegas looking to help a team reestablish itself as one of the biggest threats in the West. With the departure of Max Pacioretty and the injury to Robin Lehner, this will be no easy task. If Vegas does have another successful year and gets back into the playoffs, Cassidy will almost certainly need to be considered as one of the best coaches of the season.
Stanley Cup Prediction
Hurricanes over Avalanche