What Will Surely Turn Out To Be A Completely Accurate Preview of The NHL Awards

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Many people think that awards season (or "Awards SZN" to all the hip youngsters) ended months ago, but in reality we only reach the season's pinnacle here at the end of June with the NHL Awards.

The NHL Awards has it all. Uncomfortable monologues, acceptance speeches in broken English, and lots of sweet, sweet Canadian hardware.

You'll want to impress your friends when you show up to your NHL Awards viewing party so I'm here to help with my predictions.



Vezina Trohpy - Best Goaltender

Finalists: Pekka Rinne, NSH; Connor Hellebuyck, WPG; Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL

The first award we're taking a look at is a tight race. We have a former finalist in Rinne, and two very well deserved relative newcomers in Hellebuyck and Vaslievskiy (both of whom have names that are impossibly difficult to spell). I would say Rinne is the favorite and likely winner. He helped lead the Preds to a President's Trophy (more NHL trophy goodness) and has a better save percentage and GAA than his fellow finalists.

Prediction: Pekka Rinne

Frank J. Selke Trophy - Best Defensive Forward

Finalists: Patrice Bergeron, BOS; Sean Couturier, PHI; Anze Kopitar

Perennial favorites Patrice Bergeron (who has won the award four times) and Anze Kopitar (four time nominee, 2016 winner) are joined by new, but not unexpected, fellow nominee, Sean Couturier. I'm a little biased toward Coots, but the dude is well deserving. He has always been talked about as a one-day Selke finalist for years, and ironically, it was his increase in offensive production that got him the nomination for this defensive award. I'm going with Coots to become the third Flyer to take home the Selke.

Prediction: Sean Couturier

Norris Trophy - Best Defenseman

Finalists: Drew Doughty, LAK; Victor Hedman, TBL; P.K. Subban, NSH

Another strong group of finalists all of whom are deserving, but I think this is another defensive award will be boiled down to the nominees' offensive production. P.K. Subban was good for 15 goals and 59 points and helped the Predators lead the league in goals and points by defensemen, as well as a President's Trophy. I'm predicting Subban nabs his second Norris Trophy.

Prediciton: P.K. Subban

Lady Byng Trophy - Most Gentlemanly Player

Finalists: Aleksander Barkov, FLA; William Karlsson, VGK; Ryan O'Reilly, BUF

This is a sportsmanship award and a tough one to call as a fan. The awards are being held in Las Vegas, and the Vegas Golden Knights will be the talk of the town, so I'm going with Wild Bill.

Predicition: William Karlsson

Masterton Trophy | Dedication to Hockey

Finalists: Brian Boyle, NJ; Roberto Luongo, FLA' Jordan Staal

The Masterton Trophy is named for Bill Masterton and awards dedication and perseverence to the sport of hockey, and while all the nominees for this one are deserving, no one exemplified those traits more this season than New Jersey's Brian Boyle. After being diagnosed with cancer, Boyle returned mid-season, scoring in his debut with the Devils, and even nabbed an All-Star appearance.

Prediction: Brian Boyle

Calder Trophy | Best Rookie

Finalists: Matthew Barzal, NYI;' Brock Boeser, VAN; Clayton Keller, ARI

An injury is what will likely derail Brock Boeser's chances at a Calder trophy, despite a strong season and an All-Star appearance. Clayton Keller's campaign suffered from a horrific start of the season for the Coyotes, even though he played well individually and the Coyotes had a strong second half managing to avoid a last place finish (but also a better chance at picking number one this year, so...). That leaves Matthew Barzal, who had a great season and is the heir-apparent to the John Tavares throne should he decide to leave the Island.

Prediction: Matthew Barzal

Mark Messier Leadership Award

Finalists: Deryk Engelland, VGK' Wayne Simmonds, PHI; Blake Wheeler, WPG

It kills me not to just hand this award right to the Wayne Train and Wheeler's fairly unique situation of being an American captain in a Canadian town is worth noting, but there is absolutely no chance that this award doesn't go to Deryk Engelland. Known as a tough guy for a good chunk of his career, England had a career renaissance in Vegas (his adopted hometown that he has spent offseasons in since playing with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL). Exhibit A, the speech he gave at Vegas's home opener a just over a week after the October 1st shooting. The guy exudes leadership.

Prediction: Deryk Engelland

Jack Adams Award - Coach of the Year

Finalists: Jared Bednar, COL; Bruce Cassidy, BOS; Gerard Gallant, VGK

If you want an NHL Awards betting lock, look no further than the Jack Adams Award and the other award given to guys who spend the game in a suit (no, not Healthy Scratch of the Year, which I'm giving to the Flyers' Dale Weise. Hi-Yo!) I'll make this simple Gerard Gallant will win this. Cassidy and Bednar would be strong candidates too, if Gallant hadn't lead the Golden Knights on one of the most unprecedented runs in sports history. Absolute no-brainer.

Prediction: Gerrard Gallant

Ted Lindsay Award - Best Player as voted by NHLPA

Finalists: Taylor Hall, NJ; Nathan MacKinnon, COL; Connor McDavid, EDM

This one is interesting. There are two Hart Trophy candidates here in Hall and MacKinnon, with McDavid thrown into the mix. Edmonton had a TERRIBLE season by any standards, but when you consider that they were one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup, it just makes things even more abysmal. However, this award is voted on by the players, and I think most would be in agreement that McDavid is the best of the three. The dude put up 108 points on a garbage team that wasn't even able to sniff the playoffs from late October on. That's pretty impressive.

Prediction: Connor McDavid

Hart Trophy - Most Valuable Player

Finalists: Taylor Hall, NJ; Anze Kopitar, LAK; Nathan MacKinnon, COL

Hall and MacKinnon are back for the Hart race, but so is Kings captain and Selke finalist, Anze Kopitar. Kopitar is great, logs a lot of ice time, and puts up a lot of points, but he will almost certainly come in third in this race, due to the fact that the Kings have what both the Devils and Avalanche are lacking: Depth. The lack of depth makes the other two finalists so much more valuable to their respective teams. So, now it's a two-man race between MacKinnon and Hall, and it's honestly a toss up. That said I'm taking Hallsy.

Prediction: Taylor Hall

King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Finalists: Daniel & Henrik Sedin, VAN; P.K. Subban, NSH; Jason Zucker, MIN

The King Clancy is awarded for charitable work done by players off the ice and all four are deserving. However, since it's the Sedins announced their retirement early this year, and this the only award they are up for, I'd would expect to see everyone's favorite (and sort of creepy) Swedish twins win this one.

Prediction: Daniel & Henrik Sedin

General Manager of the Year Award

Finalists: Kevin Cheveldayoff, WPG; George McPhee, VGK; Steve Yzerman, TBL

It will be a clean sweep for the Vegas Golden Knights when it comes to awards given to guys who wear suits. McPhee takes this one and it won't even be close.

Prediction: George McPhee

There you have it! The 100% correct NHL Awards preview.

 Tell me how I'm wrong in the comments section, then I'll tell you how you're wrong, than we'll go back and forth in an endless cycle until one of us gets sick of arguing.

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