Photo: Brennan Doherty/The Canadian Press
In this series, the 2018 NHL Awards will be predicted. This is the final article of the series.
With the NHL season underway, it’s time to finish off the 2018 NHL Awards prediction series. There will be 6 awards predicted.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is given annually to the National Hockey League “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”. It was previously awarded to Calgary Flame Johnny Gaudreau.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy will be awarded to St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko was a finalist for the award last season, but the award ultimately went to Gaudreau. Vladimir Tarasenko will likely have another great year, and will be in Lady Byng talks next June.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) June 21, 2017
Ted Lindsay Award
The Ted Lindsay award is given yearly to the National Hockey League’s most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHL Players Association. It was recently given to Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.
Alexander Ovechkin has had the hottest start to the season out of anyone in the league. He scored 3 times in a 5-4 shootout win against the Senators, and added 4 more goals in a 6-1 win against the Canadiens. Obviously, he’s not going to keep this pace up, but he’s been playing decent, so Ovechkin may be a sleeper for this award.
Connor McDavid is considered the best player in the NHL by a lot of people. He won this award last season, as well as the Hart Trophy. It was only his second year.
McDavid started the season strong, recording a hat-trick in his first game. He reached 100 points last year, so don’t be surprised if he goes off once again, as he will only be getting better for the next few seasons.
This will surprise a lot of people, but Kucherov will have another outstanding season. He will be playing alongside Steven Stamkos, who he can pass to, and receive passes from. Kucherov is predicted to have 51 goals and 32 assists this season (by EndAroundSports), and if he can come close to those numbers, he can have a chance at this award.
The Ted Lindsay award is pretty much already Connor McDavid’s again. He is entering his 3rd year, and will only improve with Leon Draisaitl. Those two will have even more chemistry, and should both get amazing numbers.
Calder Memorial Trophy
The Calder Memorial Trophy is handed out each season to the league’s best rookie. It was given to Auston Matthews last year.
Charlie McAvoy, drafted 14th overall by the Bruins in 2016, will have an outstanding rookie year. He amassed 1 goal and added 1 assist for two points in his first career NHL game, playing on defense. If he can keep up the solid work, he can be the first defenseman to get the award since Ekblad in 2014-2015.
Thomas Chabot got sent down before the season started, and most people thought that he would be out of Calder talks. However, due to Erik Karlsson’s injury, the Senators called up Chabot yesterday. He will get a fair bit of ice-time, and could also be the first defenseman in a long time to be awarded the Calder.
The 2017 draft is considered one of the weakest drafts for the past few years. Devils forward Nico Hischier went 1st overall. He went pointless in is first NHL game, but had 86 points in 57 games for the Halifax Mooseheads last season.
Hischier doesn’t have the best chance at the award, but could have a great season. He showed Halifax fans that he can score and get assists. There’s still 81 games left for Hischier, and he could exceed expectations.
The winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy will be Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy showed that he can be offensive in his first game, and if he can keep it up, he’ll be the first defenseman since Aaron Ekblad to win.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
The James Norris Memorial Trophy is given out each season to the best all-around defenseman. Last season it was given to Brent Burns.
Brent Burns is an offensive defenseman. He received criticism after winning the Norris last season, as many feel that he is more of a forward. Last season, Burns had 76 points. He has 1 point in 1 game this year.
Erik Karlsson probably deserved the Norris Trophy last season. He carried the Senators to the playoffs, and also played w through an injury for the majority of the postseason. Karlsson won’t be able to play until his ankle is 100%, and that will damage his chances.
Erik Karlsson just said today doctors removed half of his ankle bone. Not. Even. Close. To. Being. Ready. #Sens
— NHL Prospects Watch (@Prospects_Watch) October 1, 2017
Victor Hedman is insanely underrated. He has never won a Norris, although he has come close many times. Last season, Hedman had a career high 72 points in 79 games, and he has 1 point in 2 games this year.
The #2 overall pick in 2009 is pretty good defensively, and has a great chance at the award. With Stamkos returning, Hedman will get more points on the power-play.
The winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy will be Victor Hedman. Karlsson will be out for a bit of the season, and Burns won’t put up as many points as last season (and let’s be honest, the voters vote for the best offensive defenseman, no matter how well they play defensively).
The Vezina trophy is given out to the league’s best goaltender. It was previously won by Sergei Bobrovsky.
Carey Price is still the league’s best goalie. He may be a bit overrated, but he has a lot of skill. Price hasn’t had his best start to the year, allowing 4 goals on 14 shots during his second game.
Carey Price has a GAA of 4.24 right now, but that is only because of the 6-1 loss to Washington. Price played great against the Sabres, saving 43 shots, and he played good against the Rangers, saving 23 shots. So far this season, Carey Price has a 0.898 SV%.
Ben Bishop was acquired by the Dallas Stars in the offseason. That solved their goaltending need, and they also acquired Marc Methot on defense. The Stars are looking like a Cup contender, and Bishop could have a great year.
Bishop got injured in his first game against the Golden Knights, and the Stars ending up losing 2-1. Had he stayed in the game, Dallas probably would’ve came out with a win.
Braden Holtby has been a Vezina finalist for the past two seasons. He won the award in 2016. Holtby has had a strong start to the season, with a 2.40GAA and a 0.930 SV%.
If Holtby and the Capitals don’t choke this season, he has a good chance at taking home the Vezina. However, although the Capitals have been the NHL’s best regular season team the past few years, they lost a lot of depth during the offseason. Depth is important for the long season, and it could take away Holtby’s Vezina chances.
The winner of the Vezina Trophy will be Carey Price. Price is an outstanding veteran goaltender. He knows that he will need to rebound from the rough start for the Habs, and he’ll go back to his 2014-2015 days.
Hart Memorial Trophy
The Hart Memorial Trophy is given to the league MVP, voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. It was previously handed out to Connor McDavid.
Carey Price won the Hart Trophy in 2014-2015, but then missed most of the next season with an injury. When he returned for the 2016-2017 season, Price had an “off-year”. He will be looking to rebound this season.
Price had a good first and third game, but not so good second game, allowing 4 goals in a 6-1 loss. He will need to be at the top of his game for the next 79 games for a chance at this trophy.
Alexander Ovechkin has been the league’s best goal scorer to start of the year. He has 7 goals in 2 games. Ovechkin was just named the NHL’s 1st star of the week.
— NHL (@NHL) October 9, 2017
Ovechkin will not keep up this pace for the whole year, but he now has a strong chance at the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. If Ovechkin can return to his 50+ goal days, expect him to be a Hart Trophy candidate.
Connor McDavid is insanely good at hockey. Like Ovechkin, he scored a hat-trick in his first game back, after reaching 100 points last year. McDavid has the potential to do that again, and if he can, expect another Hart Trophy.
The winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy will be Connor McDavid. With Leon Draisaitl at his side for another year, McDavid will explode once again.
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