With the 2015-16 NHL season finally over and the 2016 draft looming, the Hockey League joined together Wednesday night in Las Vegas to celebrate the achievements of players and team personnel at the NHL Awards.
The league announced earlier that day that it will begin it’s expansion process to Las Vegas with the team joining play for the 2017-18 season.
Patrick Kane, of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Anze Kopitar, of LA Kings, both walked away as the nights big winners, along with a few of their team mates as well.
Calder Trophy – Artemi Panarin (Chicago Blackhawks)
The Calder Trophy is awarded to the top rookie. Panarin who plays for the Chicago Blackhawks won the award with 1258 points. The 24-year-old NHL rookie beat out Shayne Gostisbehere of Philadelphia Flyers and No. 1 Draft Pick of 2015 Connor McDavid.
The Russian Forward racked up 30 goals and 47 assists in 80 games during the regular season for the Blackhawks.
Ted Lindsay Award – Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Awarded to the most outstanding player (voted by the players), this award has been given to the likes of Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, to name a few. But this year Patrick Kane became the first Blackhawks player and American-born player to win.
Other nominees included Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars) and Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals).
Kane scored 46 goals and grabbed 60 assists in regular season for the Blackhawks, and grabbed one goal and six assists during Chicago’s playoff run.
Hart Trophy – Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
The Hart Memorial Trophy is one of the most iconic awards given at the NHL Awards. Awarded to the player who is most valuable to his team. Previous recipients include Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and many other great names in the hockey world.
It was hard to see why Penguins captain and 2015-16 Stanley Cup winner, Sidney Crosby, wouldn’t win the Hart Trophy. Alas, the award was given to Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, who was also awarded the Ted Lindsay award.
Kane was also awarded the Art Ross Trophy at the end of the regular season for collecting the most points. The Chicago forward grabbed 109 points over 2015-16 and thus became the first American-born player to win it.
General Manager of the Year – Jim Rutherford (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Winning the Stanley Cup just isn’t down to the players. Rutherford made key additions to the Pittsburg Penguins, such as the appointment of Head Coach Mike Sullivan in December. New players such as Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Eric Fehr, Carl Hagelin and Trevor Daley, also were key in the Penguins’ challenge to win the Stanley Cup.
Masterson Trophy – Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers)
Every NHL player is dedicated to Ice Hockey, otherwise they wouldn’t be playing in the best league in the world. But the Masterson Trophy is for the player who has shown perseverance and dedication to the sport and their team.
Jaromir Jagr was the undoubted winner. Leading his team, Florida Panthers, to a franchise best performance, the 44-year-old registered 66 points over the season, making him the oldest player in NHL history to get over to 60 point mark.
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award – Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
This award is not only for the players on-ice persona, but also their contributions off ice for their team and to the community.
Shea Weber has been captain of the Nashville Predators since 2010, and has helped the team reach the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. However, not only his on-ice leadership granted him this award. His off-ice charitable efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Several charities in Nashville are helped out by Weber, and he also co-founded 65 Pediatric Cancer Fund with teammate Pekka Rinne. The Canadian also hosts a gold tournament in his home town of Sicamous, British Columbia, which supports the British Columbia Cancer Society.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy – Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks)
Given to the player who best demonstrates leadership qualities on and off the ice while also making a humanitarian contribution in his community. Vancouver Canucks Captain, Henrik Sedin, was granted this award.
Henrik Sedin has made many notable contributions to the Vancouver community, with regular visits to children hospitals and even donating 1.5 million dollars to build a new building for children’s hospital along with his twin brother, Daniel Sedin.
The twins also established the Sedin Family Foundation along with their wives in order to give back to the Vancouver Community. The Foundation aims to address the needs of families and their children, one aim being to improve children’s confidence, but most importantly to have fun.
NHL Foundation Player Award – Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames)
Awarded for community service, Calgary Flames defender, Mark Giordano and his wife have partnered with the Calgary Board of Education for the past two seasons to create a community program called Team Giordano that provides resources to four low-income schools in the city.
Norris Trophy – Drew Doughty (LA Kings)
The Norris Trophy is for the top defender.
Drew Doughty for the LA Kings claimed this award. Doughty is the second player in the Kings Franchise to win. The defender won the award after receiving 1254 points from the voting.
Selke Trophy – Anke Kopitar (LA Kings)
Not only is it important for a forward to score, it is also important for a forward to be able to defend, and that’s what the Selke Trophy awards.
LA Kings forward Anze Kopitar won the award after being in the top-five for four consecutive years. Kopitar is the first Kings player to win this award.
Jack Adams Award – Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals)
A team is nothing without a head coach, and that is why the Jack Adams award is given to the top head coach.
It is not easy making a team a win, and definitely not easy getting them to win consistently, but that is what Barry Trotz did with the Washington Capitals. Trotz led what seemed to be an unbeatable team to win the President’s Trophy and became the 10th coach in NHL History to reach the 1,300-game milestone.
Lady Byng Trophy – Anze Kopitar (LA Kings)
Kopitar bagged another award during the night; already winning the Selke trophy for being the best defensive forward, the Slovenian’s talent and sportsmanship were also recognised with him receiving the Lady Byng Trophy for just that.
Vezina Trophy – Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals)
Goalies get a lot of flack when performing bad, but when you’re on top form like Braden Holtby, it’s not hard to see why 26 of the first-place votes were awarded to Holtby.
Holtby equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2006-07. Braden was also key to leading the Capitals to winning the 2015-16 President’s Trophy.