Projecting all the top NHL award winners

nhl award winners
Feb 20, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a second period goal by forward Connor McDavid (97), his third of the game against Calgary Flames at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As the regular season comes to a close, The Daily Goal Horn projects who the top NHL award winners will be. Voting doesn’t take place for awhile, but you’re not supposed to let the playoffs affect your decision making. Although I am not a member of the Pro Hockey Writers Association, here’s how I’d vote on some or predict on others.

2021 Top NHL Award Winners Predictions

There are several major awards not determined by points like the Art Ross Trophy which already belongs to Connor McDavid. Or like the Rocket Richard Trophy going to Auston Matthews for leading the league in goals. Here’s my prediction on who will win some of the top NHL awards this summer.

King Clancy Trophy (Leadership on and off the ice): Teams have yet to put forth nominees

Mark Messier Leadership Award (Best Leader): Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (Perseverance and Dedication to hockey): Oskar Lindblom, Philadelphia Flyers

nhl award winners
Apr 18, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Oskar Lindblom (23), a cancer survivor, wears a Hockey Fights Cancer jersey during warm ups before a game against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

This is an easy and most deserving winner to pick. Oskar Lindblom battled back from bone cancer. A fight that began on December 10th, 2019 and ended when he returned for Game 6 of the Playoffs last season. He finished this season with 14 points in 50 games.

Jim Gregory GM of the Year: Bill Zito, Florida Panthers

Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers

Lady Byng Trophy (Gentlemanly Player): Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers

artemi panarin
Feb 14, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) takes a shot on goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers leading scorer registered 58 points in just 42 games. Panarin’s 1.38 points per game was third highest in the league this season. His six penalty minutes are among the lowest for top point getters. Plus the NHL owes him one for assessing him a two minute minor after being body slammed by Tom Wilson to end his season.

Jack Adams Award (Best Coach): Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina Hurricanes

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights

marc andre fleury wins
Feb 22, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I know everyone thinks Andre Vasilevskiy should win this one easy, but I disagree. Marc-Andre Fleury’s .927 SV% and 2.04 GAA are among the league’s best. He recorded five shutouts and moved into third all-time on the NHL wins list. He deserves it this season.

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

This award should go to Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, but the old boy’s club voting won’t have the intestinal fortitude to give him enough first place votes. No Norris winner has ever missed the playoffs, ergo why this goes to the second best defenseman in the NHL this season instead.

Hart Trophy Award (MVP): Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

There isn’t even a question why McDavid wins this…Auston Matthews will get some votes but this is a no contest.

Ted Lindsay Award (Outstanding Player as selected by NHLPA): Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

McDavid Draisaitl
Apr 7, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97-center of back row) celebrates with team his goal scored in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports