Which members of the Vegas Golden Knights have the best chance of winning awards for their performance in the 2023-24 regular season? This is part two of a two-part series.
Art Ross and Maurice Richard Trophies: The Art Ross trophy is awarded to the player with the most regular season points. The Maurice Richard Trophy is awarded to the player who scores the most regular season goals. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers won both trophies with 64 goals and 153 points.
The Vegas Golden Knights do not have a player built to score like McDavid. The top candidates to lead the Golden Knights in scoring are Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, and Mark Stone. The likelihood of one of them scoring 50 goals and getting 100 points is slim.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the player that exemplifies the best sportsmanship with a high standard of playing ability. Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings won the Lady Byng Trophy last season.
William Karlsson won the Lady Byng Trophy with Vegas in 2018 with 78 points and just two penalty minutes in the regular season.
Eichel finished 13th and Alex Pietrangelo finished 15th in voting for the Lady Byng Trophy last season. Pietrangelo may have removed himself from future considerations for the Lady Byng Trophy after slashing Leon Draisaitl in the playoffs. Eichel is a solid candidate to move up in the voting as he finished with just six penalty minutes last season. Health will be key. Eichel needs to be on the ice for 75 or more games while scoring at a point-per-game pace.
Vezina Trophy: The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the player judged to be the best goaltender. Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins won the Vezina Trophy last season. Ullmark appeared in 49 games with a record of 40-6-1, a 1.89 goals-against average, and a .938 save percentage.
Marc-Andre Fleury won the Vezina Trophy with Vegas in 2021 with a record of 26-10, a .1.98 goals-against average, and a .928 save percentage.
The Golden Knights have a goaltender-friendly system. Logan Thompson and Adin Hill can be considered dark horse candidates for Vezina Trophy considerations. Hill got hot during the playoffs with a save percentage of .915, the second-highest playoff save percentage of all time. Can Hill sustain that level of play for the regular season?
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: The Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award goes to the player who exemplifies great leadership on and off the ice during the regular season. Steve Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning was last season’s winner.
Deryk Engelland won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award in 2018 with Vegas.
There is a distinct difference to the Golden Knights when Stone is not on the ice. Stone can earn consideration if his back can hold up for an entire season.
Jim Gregory GM of the Year: Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars won the Jim Gregory GM of the Year award last season.
General Manager George McPhee won the Jim Gregory GM of the Year in 2018 with Vegas.
General Manager Kelly McCrimmon was not among the three finalists for the Jim Gregory GM of the Year last season. If the Golden Knights repeat as Pacific Division champions and lead the Western Conference in points, it will be hard to see anyone but McCrimmon winning next season.