LAS VEGAS — On a night when the best of the best players in the game received recognition, the New Jersey Devils’ Taylor Hall put it all into perspective.
“I was super nervous until I just saw that Humboldt tribute,” Hall said. “It really puts everything into perspective for me.”
Moments after the NHL recognized the Humboldt Broncos and coach Darcy Haugan as the recipient of the 2018 Willie O’Ree Community Award, Hall was announced as The League’s Most Valuable Player narrowly edging out Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
“Congrats to the nominees on amazing seasons,” Hall said. “It really could have been anyone up here. I’m super interested to see the voting after and see how close it was. It truly was a team effort this year.”
Hart Trophy — League Most Valuable Player — Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
Hall wins the Hart Trophy after finishing sixth in the NHL in points scored (93), marking the first time the trophy winner didn’t finish among the top four scorers since Mark Messier of the 1991-92 Rangers. Hall, who becomes the first player in franchise history to win an MVP, had 41 more points than the next-highest scorer on the team. Hall recorded seven game-winning goals helping New Jersey improve 27 points in the standings and qualify for the post-season for the first time since 2012.
“It’s not something that I really ever had a goal in mind [to win],” Hall told NHL.com. “It’s always been playoffs and Stanley Cup. As the season went on, you know it might be a possibility and it’s really out of your hands, to be honest. … In saying that, I’m very proud to be standing up here with the trophy.”
Runner-up: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings; Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Vezina Trophy — Top Goaltender — Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
After finishing second in 2010-11 and 2014-15 and third in 2011-12, it was Rinne’s time to shine as the Finland netminder went 42-13 with a sparkling 2.31 goals-against average and sizzling .927 save percentage. Third in The League with 42 victories, Rinne helped Nashville win its first Presidents’ Trophy with 117 points. His eight shutouts set a new franchise record and tied both runner-ups Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets in that category.
Runner-up: Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets; Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Norris Trophy — Top Defenseman — Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Averaging an incredible 25:51 amount of ice time per game in 2017-18, Hedman set a personal best with 17 goals, tying for The League lead, while chipping in 46 assists for 63 points, fifth among all NHL defensemen. A physical, shutdown blueliner in his own zone who wasn’t afraid to join the rush offensively, Hedman finished plus-32 to follow a long line of Swedish defenseman to win the Norris Trophy including Nicklas Lidstrom (7x) and Erik Karlsson (2x).
Runner-up: Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
Calder Trophy — Rookie of the Year — Matthew Barzal, New York Islanders
Tops among all NHL rookies in assists (63) and points (85), Barzal was an easy choice for the Calder Trophy after the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser missed the final 16 games of the season with a back injury. Barzal led the New York Islanders in scoring while finishing 13th in The League in points. He is the fifth player in franchise history to win the Calder Trophy joining Dennis Potvin (1973-74), Brian Trottier (1975-76), Mike Bossy (1977-78) and Bryan Berard (1996-97).
Runner-up: Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks; Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes
Selke Trophy — Top Defensive Forward — Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Narrowly missing out on the Hart Trophy as The League MVP, Kopitar didn’t leave Las Vegas empty-handed as the Slovakian rebounded from a down year in 2016-17 with 35 goals and 52 assists for 92 points while being accountable in his own zone as the NHL’s top defensive forward. Kopitar finished plus-21 edging out Boston’s Patrice Bergeron who has won the award in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Runner-up: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
Jack Adams Award — Top Coach — Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights
After being shown the door by the Florida Panthers in a miserable 2016-17 campaign, Gallant had the last laugh in 2017-18 leading the first-year expansion Golden Knights to a 51-24-7 record and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Gallant captured 102 out of a possible 108 first-place votes in the Jack Adams Award Voting.
Runner-up: Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins; Jared Bednar, Colorado Avalance
General Manager of the Year — George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights
The architect of the first-year expansion Golden Knights run, McPhee captured 25 first-place votes to run away with General Manager of the Year honors. Under McPhee, “The Golden Misfits” set a new standard for first-year expansion clubs in any sport with 109 points to win the Pacific Division before defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets en route to the Stanley Cup Final.
“It was really hard for me to believe, to be honest with you,” McPhee told NHL.com. “Every month, I was like, ‘Boy, is this really happening?‘ As I’ve said a number of times, I had my fingers crossed all year hoping it wouldn’t turn to dust. And each week, we kept winning. And then we won a round, and then won another round, and then won another round. And I was like, ‘This is too good to be true. We might win the Stanley Cup.’ And then we didn’t. And then you come back down to earth. But it was just an extraordinary year in all of our lives.”
Runner-up: Kevin Cheveldayoff, Winnipeg Jets; Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Lady Byng Trophy — Most Gentlemanly Player — William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights
Playing in all 82 games, William “Wild Bill” Karlsson hit the sin bin just six times for 12 penalty minutes while amassing 43 goals and 78 points, both tops on the first-year expansion Golden Knights. Karlsson also led The League with a plus-49 rating — quite a bump after tallying all of six goals for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016-17.
Runner-up: Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers; Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo Sabres
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy — Perseverance, Sportsmanship and Dedication to Hockey — Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
On the ice, Boyle compiled 13 goals and 23 points while lending grit and determination to the Devils. But it was his conflicts off the ice — namely his own battle with chronic myeloid leukemia as well as difficulties with his 3-year-old son Declan, who has arteriovenous malformation of his jaw, a rare condition that impacts blood flow and oxygen circulation — that separated him.
Runner-up: Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers; Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
King Clancy Memorial Trophy — Humanitarian Award — Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Runner-up: P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators; Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award — Leadership Qualities on and off the ice — Deryk Engelland, Vegas Golden Knights
Runner-up: Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers; Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
Ted Lindsay Award — Most Outstanding Player as Voted by NHL Players’ Association — Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Runner-up: Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils; Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Willie O’Ree NHL Community Hero Award — Darcy Haugan, Humboldt Broncos
It was an emotional night at the #NHLAwards on Wednesday.
— NHL (@NHL) June 21, 2018
Main Image: Members of the Humboldt Broncos stand onstage as Darcy Haugan is presented with the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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