Early NHL Awards Predictions

Presidents’ Trophy:
The Washington Capitals currently hold a five-point lead over the San Jose Sharks with one game in hand. It’s almost a sure thing that they’ll hold on to this lead and win their first ever Presidents’ Trophy. Prediction: Washington CapitalsArt Ross Trophy:
Henrik Sedin currently leads by one point over Alexander Ovechkin, both of whom still have seven games left to play. Although Ovechkin has played ten fewer games than Sedin, he only has 11 points in his 11 games since the Olympics break, while Henrik Sedin has 21 points in 14 games. Prediction: Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks

Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy:
The race for the Rocket Richard Trophy has turned into a three-way race between three former number one overall picks. Sidney Crosby currently leads with 47 goals but Alexander Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos are right behind him with 46 and 45 goals respectively. Stamkos and Ovechkin do have a small edge over Crosby with one extra game left to play. All three have been somewhat cold of late as Crosby and Stamkos only have three goals in their last nine games while Ovechkin has four. As much as I’d love for Steven Stamkos to win this one, I expect Alexander Ovechkin will come away with his third straight Rocket Richard Trophy. Prediction: Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

William M. Jennings Trophy:
The New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins currently lead with 2.39 goals against per game and the Phoenix Coyotes are right behind at 2.40. The Phoenix Coyotes have allowed only 28 goals in their 13 games since the Olympic break and should finish the season strong. Prediction: Ilya Bryzgalov – Phoenix Coyotes

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
Pavel Datsyuk has won the last four Lady Byng Memorial Trophies but he has somewhat struggled this season and I expect a new winner this year. The nominees will likely be Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards and Anze Kopitar, all of whom have at least 75 points and less than 15 PIM. Prediction: Martin St. Louis – Tampa Bay Lightning

Jack Adams Award:
The Jack Adams Award was only awarded to the coach that won the Presidents’ Trophy once in the last 20 years. This award is usually given to the coach that had the most surprising team and this season there is no doubt that it is the Phoenix Coyotes. I will be shocked if Dave Tippett doesn’t win the award this season. Prediction: Dave Tippett – Phoenix Coyotes

Frank J. Selke Trophy:
This trophy used to be awarded to the best defensive forward but for some reason, since the lockout, the players that won it all had at least 70 points. In my opinion, Jay McClement who has 3:44 of shorthanded ice time per game (23 seconds more than any other forward) on the league’s top penalty kill should be the winner hands down, but he probably won’t because he only has 28 points and plays in St. Louis. This year’s trophy will likely go to Ryan Kesler who was nominated last year but has had a much better offensive season this year while still ranking 21st in shorthanded ice time per game. Prediction: Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks

Calder Memorial Trophy:
The Calder Memorial Trophy will be one of the toughest awards to give out this year. Matt Duchesne leads the forwards with 52 points in 75 games, Tyler Myers has been stellar on defense with 43 points in 74 games and almost 24 minutes of ice time per game, and Jimmy Howard has had an incredible season with a 0.926 save percentage, a 2.24 GAA and a 32-15-9 record. In my opinion, it’ll come down to a race between Myers and Howard. Myers is the 25th best defenseman in ice time and 12th best in points which probably makes him one of the 20 defensemen this season in the NHL. Howard is currently third in save percentage amongst goalies who have played at least 40 games, second in goals against average and tenth in wins. As good as Myers has been this year, I think the edge will go to Jimmy Howard, especially if he starts the last seven games of the year for the Red Wings. Prediction: Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings

James Norris Memorial Trophy:
The last ten Norris Trophy winners all had at least 50 points and at least 25:30 of ice time per game. It’s also interesting to note that all their teams made the playoffs and the last nine winners were on a team with at least 100 points. This season, eight players have at least 25:30 of ice time per game but only three of them will likely finish the year with at least 50 points and will likely make the playoffs. The three candidates are: Duncan Keith, Dan Boyle and Chris Pronger. Duncan Keith is the best of the three in points and time on ice per game, and his team currently has 99 points. Prediction: Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks

Vezina Trophy:
This trophy is usually awarded to a goaltender who ranks somewhere near the top in wins, goals against average and save percentage. Last year, Tim Thomas won the award despite starting only 54 games but his save percentage was 0.010 better than any goalie who had started 60 or more games. This year, there are eight goalies with a save percentage above 0.920. Six of them should end up with at least 60 starts but Tomas Vokoun and Miikka Kiprusoff have won 50% or less of their starts. The four candidates are therefore: Ryan Miller, Jimmy Howard, Evgeni Nabokov and Ilya Bryzgalov. All four have had an excellent season but Ryan Miller is the best in save percentage and goals against average. Ryan Miller also led the Unites States to a silver medal in the Olympics which shouldn’t count in the vote, but it will. Prediction: Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres

Hart Memorial Trophy:
Although this trophy is supposed to be awarded to the league’s most valuable player, it is usually awarded to the best player. 11 of the last 13 winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy also won either the Art Ross, Rocket Richard or Vezina Trophy. This would mean that the candidates this year are amongst: Henrik Sedin, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Ryan Miller. Alexander Ovechkin should win this trophy easily even though the league’s most valuable player is probably Ryan Miller. Prediction: Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

We’ll find out in a couple of months how many I got right. I’d also like to mention that you have less than three days left to buy your NHL Playoff Combo from our online store. With the purchase of an RBK Premier Jersey, you also get the 2nd Season Cap and the Gameday 3 in 1 Combo at 50% off.