The NHL Season is coming to an end, Champion Handicapper Dana Lane examines which players are on the fast track to take home individual awards this year.
General Manager of the Year
Bryan Murray, Ottawa Senators
After not making the playoffs in 2016 Murray has the Senators sitting in the second spot in the Atlantic Division with a realistic chance of winning the division.
Mark Messier Leadership Award
Awarded to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.
P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
The award recognizes the individual who is a superior leader and a contributing member of society. No one has given more back to the game than Subban and it’s a bit of a joke he hasn’t won this award yet. He should be in line for the King Clancy if he doesn’t win the Messier.
Frank J. Selke Trophy
Awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game
Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens
Pacioretty is on pace for a 30-goal season to go along with his pace to finish at a +11. He is defensively responsible while winning over 55% of his face-offs.
Jack Adams Award
Awarded to the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success
John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tortorella took over the Blue Jackets mid-season in the 2015-2016 season and led the Jackets to a one game over .500 record but with a full season under his belt Tortorella has led the Jackets, who haven’t made the playoffs since the 2013-14 season, to a certain playoff berth in 2017.
Awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Unlike some years where there was some debate, that isn’t the case this season. Burns 27 goals are 12 more than Shea Webber allowing him to be a point a game defensemen while maintaining a +24 rating. Tremendous size and agility make him the league’s best D-man.
Awarded to the league's most outstanding rookie player
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets 1.53 (at Bovada)
Perhaps the most debated award but Laine doesn’t have the pieces around him that Mathews does. Laine is on pace to barely miss a 40 goal season along with an effective physical presence.
Awarded to the league's top goaltender
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
As much as I think Cam Tolbot should get some consideration for this award this award will go to Dubnyk who could lead the league in wins along with his sparkling goals against average and save percentage.
Awarded to the league's most valuable player
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
I really wanted to pull the trigger on Brad Marchand but he’s played in eight more games and still trails Crosby in goals. This is Crosby’s league as Crosby wins his third Hart Trophy.