Golden Knights Award Watch: Thompson’s Injury Drops His Calder Chances
NHL Awards. There is really only one that matters, but they are a great way to celebrate the performances of athletes all across the National …
NHL Awards. There is really only one that matters, but they are a great way to celebrate the performances of athletes all across the National Hockey League.
Despite being a recent expansion franchise, Vegas Golden Knights have their own fair share of NHL Awards, from the Jack Adams to the Lady Byng in their history. Today let's check in to see if any members of the 2022-23 Golden Knights are on track to win any major NHL Awards.
There are a lot of trophies here, so we'll go over these individual awards quickly and rank them on a 1 to 10 scale if any Golden Knights player could contend.
Vegas Golden Knights NHL Award Watch
Art Ross- Most Points, Regular Season- 0/10
Connor McDavid currently leads with 127 points. The Golden Knight's top leading scorer, Chandler Stephenson has 52 points.
Rocket Richard- Most Goals, Regular Season- 0/10
Connor McDavid currently leads with 55 goals. The Golden Knight's top leading goal scorer, Jack Eichel has 23.
Hart Trophy- Most Valuable Player- 0/10
Connor McDavid's stats needn't be repeated. He's going to run away with the award this season. Jack Eichel would be the only player even within miles of even receiving a vote compared to McDavid, Tage Thompson, David Pastrnak, and others.
Ted Lindsay Award- Most Oustanding Player (NHLPA)- 0/10
Connor McDavid, next.
Vezina Trophy- Best Goaltender- 1/10
I mean, if you want to get all technical, the Golden Knights have put themselves in a really good situation to win the Vezina Trophy as they have played five goaltenders this season. But none of them are winning this award in comparison to Connor Hellebyuck, Linus Ullmark, or Ilya Sorokin.
Norris Trophy- Best Defenseman- 2/10
Shea Theodore's recent play may have resulted in him gaining some traction, and Alex Pietrangelo is always consistent with his solid play. But Erik Karlsson is playing out of his mind with 84 points in 67 games. If he doesn't win the Norris, Rasmus Dahlin or Adam Fox will.
Calder Memorial Trophy- Rookie of the Year- 3/10
Logan Thompson's recent lower-body injury, which has kept him out of the last 14 games has likely removed any sort of chances he had for the Calder Trophy. Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken is the favorite to win the award as the rookie has 48 points in 64 games. Mason McTavish and Owen Power also have made strong cases this season.
The player that, at the beginning of the year, had arguably the best shot of any to win an award for the Golden Knights, is now likely out of the running.
Selke Trophy- Best Defensive Forward- 3/10
Another shot of a player losing out on his chance to compete for an NHL Award is/was Mark Stone. The captain has now not played in 24 straight games as he is dealing with another back injury. However, Stone is not the only solid two-way forward on the Golden Knights. Chandler Stephenson and Jack Eichel have been playing both ends well, and we really think William Karlsson should get some votes this season. But not as many as Patrice Bergeron.
Mark Messier Trophy- Leadership Award- 3/10
With the Golden Knights captain, Mark Stone out and Alex Pietrangelo also missing a chunk of time in December, this award is likely going elsewhere.
William Jennings Trophy- Goalie Duo With Lowest Goals Against- 5/10
Getting technical here, the Jennings Trophy goes to the goalie duo with the lowest GAA, however, the goaltenders have had to play in at least 25 games on the season. Only Adin Hill and Logan Thompson fit this bill for the VGK. The Golden Knights are currently sixth in the NHL in save percentage, but that includes all goaltenders. It is likely that the duo of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman will win this award.
So many things could affect the outcome of this award, so we'll just leave it at a 50/50 chance. You never know.
Lady Byng Trophy- Most Gentlemanly Player- 5/10
The Lady Byng Trophy is a hard one to predict, as it is for a more niche part of the sport. We think Zach Whitecloud, Alex Pietrangelo, William Karlsson, and Adin Hill all fit the bill as "gentlemanly" players.
Jack Adams Award- Coach of the Year- 7/10
There's a good chance head coach Bruce Cassidy gets some recognition for what he has been able to do in his first season with the Golden Knights as he has them on track to re-enter the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We think he will be a finalist for the award, but don't see him taking down Jim Montgomery of the Boston Bruins, who has coached the team to an astonishing 50-10-5 record. They have already clinched a playoff spot in early March.
Masterton Trophy- Dedication to Hockey- 8/10
It's hard not to give the guy who played in over 1,000 straight NHL hockey games the recognition for the Masterton Trophy. Phil "Iron Man" Kessel should receive tons of votes for his feat.
Conn Smythe Trophy- Playoffs MVP- ???
If the Golden Knights get into the playoffs, which it looks like they will, technically speaking, Paul Cotter has the same odds to win this award as Andrei Vasilevskiy or Sidney Crosby does at the start of the postseason.