The NHL is midway by the 2022-23 season, and meaning it is time to hand out some midseason awards to honor the gamers and coaches who’ve stood out to this point.
So much can change between now and the top of the season, however we will nonetheless spotlight the gamers who’re main the awards races with roughly 41 video games beneath their designer belts. Some of these races, just like the Hart and Vezina Trophies, appear to be over already.
However, the battles for the Norris and Calder Trophies are nonetheless hotly contested at this level. With half the season within the rearview mirror, listed here are the gamers who’ve earned some recognition.
Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
I don’t care whether or not the Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs. If Connor McDavid was not on this group, it will be squarely within the draft lottery. The similar merely can’t be stated for a overwhelming majority of the league’s greatest gamers. McDavid is probably the most beneficial participant within the NHL, and it isn’t notably shut this season.
Through 43 video games this season, McDavid leads the league in objectives, assists and factors. He’s on tempo to complete the yr with 67 objectives and 151 factors. The league hasn’t seen totals that top since Mario Lemieux tallied 69 objectives and 161 factors within the 1995-96 marketing campaign. Maybe the hockey world takes McDavid with no consideration as a result of he drops jaws on a nightly foundation, however he’s dragging an in any other case pedestrian roster into playoff competition. Unless one thing drastic occurs, there should not be a lot debate concerning the Hart Trophy. — Nivison
Honorable mentions: Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils | Tage Thompson, Buffalo Sabres | David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy: Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins
This might be the simplest award prediction that both of us have. Linus Ullmark has merely been the perfect goaltender within the league all through the primary half of the season.
Obviously, Ullmark advantages from taking part in in entrance of a Bruins group that reached the 30-win mark sooner than all however one group in NHL historical past. However, it might probably’t be understated simply how spectacular he is been in between the pipes all season. Ullmark presently leads the league in wins (22), goals-against-average (1.88) and save share (.938), whereas additionally registering a pair of shutouts. According to MoneyPuck, Ullmark owns a .967 save share when dealing with unblocked photographs, so it is clear that the Bruins’ protection is not the one purpose he is thriving.
Ullmark has been chosen to his first NHL All-Star Game, however one thing tells me that will not be the final accolade the Boston netminder earns throughout the 2022-23 season. — Bengel
Honorable mentions: Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets | Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars | Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks
This was an extremely robust choice. Adam Fox is greater than worthy of consideration for this award, however I needed to go together with Karlsson for a pair totally different causes. First of all, Karlsson is on tempo for 106 factors this season. That’s an elite quantity for any participant, not to mention a defenseman. Fox can be having a robust statistical season, however he is not fairly on the identical degree as Karlsson.
The different spectacular factor about Karlsson is that he is not simply racking up empty factors on the facility play. The Sharks, a group that can be within the draft lottery, are dominating at five-on-five when Karlsson is on the ice. Another necessary issue to contemplate is that Karlsson is doing all this whereas being paired with Jaycob Megna, a 30-year-old AHL journeyman defenseman with 127 video games of NHL expertise beneath his belt. In distinction, Fox will get to play with Ryan Lindgren, who has confirmed himself to be an efficient defender on the age of 24.
The battle for this award can be enjoyable to look at down the stretch, however for proper now, I’ve to offer it to Karlsson. — Nivison
Honorable mentions: Adam Fox, New York Rangers | Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres | Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets
Calder Trophy: Matty Beniers, Seattle Kraken
There’s a couple of names that make sense with regards to the NHL’s prime rookie this season. Vegas Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson is actually within the dialog, as he is stuffed in admirably for Robin Lehner, who’s lacking your entire 2022-23 marketing campaign because of hip surgical procedure. Still, Matty Beniers will get the nod.
Beniers presently ranks second on the Seattle Kraken with 34 factors (16 objectives and 18 assists) in 41 video games. He’s accomplished an outstanding job centering Seattle’s second line and has been on hearth currently with a purpose in 5 of his final six video games. While Beniers taking part in in 10 video games for the Kraken on the tail finish of final season might not sound like a lot, I really imagine that such expertise has made a world of distinction for the 20-year-old this season. Beniers is on tempo for 33 objectives on the yr and is likely one of the fundamental causes that the Kraken have a fantastic shot at qualifying for the playoffs within the franchise’s second season. — Bengel
Honorable mentions: Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights | Cole Perfetti, Winnipeg Jets | Matias Maccelli, Arizona Coyotes
Jack Adams Award | Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins
Coming into this season, the Boston Bruins have been coping with accidents to key gamers. On prime of that, veterans like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci have been one other yr older. It was simple to anticipate a gradual begin or a step again this yr, however as a substitute the Bruins have been the NHL’s greatest group.
In his first yr on the job, Jim Montgomery has the Bruins first within the league with an absurd file of 32-5-4. The second-place group, the Toronto Maple Leafs, are 9 factors behind Boston within the standings. Montgomery has accomplished all this with Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand, Derek Forbort and Jake DeBrusk lacking vital time because of harm.
Given the accidents and the energy of the Atlantic Division, what Montgomery has accomplished so far is tough to imagine. — Nivison
Honorable mentions: Don Granato, Buffalo Sabres | Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina Hurricanes | Lindy Ruff, New Jersey Devils
Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy: Tage Thompson, Buffalo Sabres
There’s little doubt that McDavid is the perfect participant on this planet. However, I’m going to cheat slightly bit with regards to the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. After all, the award goes to the participant that leads the league in objectives, so there’s actually no room for opinion there. There’s nothing incorrect with tabbing McDavid because the “Rocket” Richard Trophy favourite, however I’m not going to go chalk.
Instead, I’m taking Buffalo Sabres phenom Tage Thompson to steer the league in objectives when the mud settles on the 2022-23 common season. Thompson presently ranks third within the objectives division with 31 to this point this season, so he is actually inside placing distance. The 25-year-old budding star has six multi-goal video games this season, together with a five-goal efficiency earlier within the yr. Right now, he is on tempo to tally 64 objectives this season. Considering his capacity to attain from anyplace on the ice, Thompson can positively catch McDavid and switch in a historic marketing campaign. — Bengel
Honorable mentions: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers | Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars | David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins