Day by day over the past two weeks, the NHL has been revealing the nominees for each of the NHL Awards.
The winners will be announced during the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 19.
Of course, a few awards have already been decided.
Nikita Kucherov ran away with the Art Ross Trophy (most points), Alex Ovechkin won the Maurice Richard Trophy (most goals) for the eighth time in his career, and New York Islanders goalies Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy (fewest goals against).
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Here’s who’s in the running for the remaining 11 awards.
Hart Trophy – League MVP
Nominees: Sidney Crosby, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid
The Hart Trophy finalists are in!
— NHL (@NHL) April 28, 2019
Nikita Kucherov is up against the two players most commonly thought of as the best in world, but he just might win. The Tampa Bay Lightning winger led the league in scoring on the best team in the league.
His 128-point season was the highest total since 1995-96, back when Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr were terrorizing the NHL.
Norris Trophy – Best Defenceman
Nominees: Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, Victor Hedman
The finalists for the Norris Trophy are in.
— NHL (@NHL) April 21, 2019
Brent Burns and Victor Hedman are perennial contenders for this award, but Mark Giordano’s career-high 74-point season and league-leading +39 rating could be enough to land the 35-year-old his first ever Norris.
Burns led all defenders with 83 points, the highest point total for a blueliner since Brian Leetch in 1995-96.
Vezina Trophy – Best Goaltender
Nominees: Ben Bishop, Robin Lehner, Andrei Vasilevskiy
And the Vezina Trophy finalists are in!
— NHL (@NHL) April 20, 2019
Though the nominees have vastly different backgrounds, all three are looking to take home their first Vezina Trophy.
Veteran Ben Bishop is nominated for the third time in his career after leading the league in save percentage (.934), while rising star Andrei Vasilevskiy is nominated for the second year in a row.
Lehner is nominated for the first time, hoping to add a Vezina to his trophy case that now also includes this year’s William M. Jennings Trophy.
Calder Trophy – Rookie of the Year
Nominees: Jordan Binnington, Rasmus Dahlin, Elias Pettersson
We've got your Calder Trophy finalists right here!
— NHL (@NHL) April 27, 2019
It looked like it would be a one-horse race for this year’s Calder Trophy when Elias Pettersson burst onto the scene with the Vancouver Canucks, but a number of worthy challengers have emerged.
Rasmus Dahlin’s 44 points were the second-most by an 18-year-old defenceman in NHL history. Meanwhile, 25-year-old goalie Jordan Binnington’s insane 24-5-1 record helped the St. Louis Blues go from the NHL’s basement to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Ted Lindsay Award – Most Outstanding Player
Nominees: Patrick Kane, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid
The votes are in and the players have spoken – the 2018-19 #TedLindsayAward finalists are @88PKane, @86Kucherov, and @cmcdavid97! More on the TLA and this season’s finalists: https://t.co/4kOr5sKpti pic.twitter.com/jwZ9kiRMII
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) April 25, 2019
Hard to go wrong with any of these three, as the NHL’s players collectively voted for Patrick Kane, Nikita Kucherov, and Connor McDavid as the most outstanding players.
Coincidentally, they were also the three highest scorers, with the trio eclipsing 110 points this season.
Frank J. Selke Trophy – Best Defensive Forward
Nominees: Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Reilly, Mark Stone
— NHL (@NHL) April 17, 2019
Patrice Bergeron could break Bob Gainey’s record with a fifth Selke win this year, but he faces stiff competition.
Mark Stone has emerged as one of the top two-way wingers in the league, and Ryan O’Reilly’s career year with St. Louis makes this year’s Selke race wide open.
Lady Byng Trophy – Most Sportsmanlike
Nominees: Aleksander Barkov, Sean Monahan, Ryan O’Reilly
The Lady Byng Trophy — awarded to the player who best combines sportsmanship and a high standard of playing ability.
— NHL (@NHL) April 18, 2019
While Sean Monahan and O’Reilly are both worthy candidates, the front-runner for the Lady Byng this year looks like Aleksander Barkov.
The 23-year-old broke out for 96 points this season and took only four minor penalties all year while averaging 22:21 of ice time per game, the fourth-most among forwards.
Bill Masterton Trophy – Perseverance
Nominees: Nick Foligno, Robin Lehner, Joe Thornton
The finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey are here! Congratulations to @NickFoligno, @RobinLehner and Joe Thornton. 👏#NHLAwards presented by @Bridgestone pic.twitter.com/9mvKlPcyYV
— NHL (@NHL) April 19, 2019
The Masterton is always a special award, rewarding one player for overcoming hardships in their personal life and continuing to play at a high level.
Nick Foligno had to deal with health problems to two of his children, while Joe Thornton overcame major ACL and MCL tears in his left knee to continue his career at age 39.
The most heartfelt story might belong to Lehner, who made his struggles with addiction and mental health public before this season in hopes of helping others fighting similar battles.
Jack Adams Award – Best Coach
Nominees: Craig Berube, Jon Cooper, Barry Trotz
Your three finalists for the Jack Adams Award are in!
— NHL (@NHL) April 26, 2019
There’s no shortage of deserving candidates for the Jack Adams this season.
In any other year, an NHL-record 62-win season would be enough for Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper to run away with the award.
But Craig Berube’s midseason hiring helped right the ship in St. Louis, and Barry Trotz completely transformed the New York Islanders from last year, going from worst to first in the NHL for goals against.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Nominees: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Henrik Lundqvist, Jason Zucker
— NHL (@NHL) April 23, 2019
All 31 NHL teams get to nominate a player for the King Clancy Trophy, but it’s been narrowed down to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Henrik Lundqvist, and Jason Zucker.
The King Clancy recognizes a player for leadership abilities on and off the ice as well as humanitarian efforts in their community.
Mark Messier Leadership Award
Nominees: Mark Giordano, Wayne Simmonds, Justin Williams
The Mark Messier Leadership Award has their finalists.
— NHL (@NHL) April 24, 2019
Giordano, Wayne Simmonds, and Justin Williams are the nominees for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, given to the individual viewed as a superior leader both on and off the ice.