Welcome to the seventh annual installment of our Year-End Awards here at The Hockey Writers.
At the conclusion of every National Hockey League regular season, we ask all active writers to submit their picks for the following categories. Voting was conducted by e-mail between April 9 and May 10, while voters were instructed to provide up to three choices (a first, second and third-place vote) for each category. All active THW contributors were eligible to vote, regardless of their experience level.
First place votes were worth 5 points, second place votes were worth 3 points and third place votes worth 1 point apiece. Ties were broken by way of first place votes. Overall, 13 ballots were cast for these awards.
THE WAYNE GRETZKY AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER)
Modeled after the NHL’s Hart Trophy, this award seeks to acknowledge the player who had the best year and whose contributions most helped his team succeed.
WINNER: Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils
RUNNERS-UP: Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers
PAST WINNERS: Connor McDavid (2017), Patrick Kane (2016), Carey Price (2015), Sidney Crosby (2013 & 2014), Evgeni Malkin (2012)
DETAILS: Ten different players received votes for this award, with five players (Hall, MacKinnon, McDavid, Nikita Kucherov and Claude Giroux) receiving first-place votes.
THE TEEMU SELANNE AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE)
Modeled after the NHL’s Calder Trophy, this award showcases the first-year NHL player who had the most outstanding season.
WINNER: Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders
RUNNERS-UP: Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Charlie McAvoy of the Boston Bruins
PAST WINNERS: Auston Matthews (2017), Artemi Panarin (2016), Aaron Ekblad (2015), Nathan MacKinnon (2014), Jonathan Huberdeau (2013), Gabriel Landeskog (2012)
DETAILS: Seven players received votes and three players (Barzal, Boeser and McAvoy) received first-place votes.
THE MARTIN BRODEUR AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING GOALTENDER)
Modeled after the NHL’s Vezina Trophy, this category celebrates the goaltender who had the most outstanding season.
WINNER: Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators
RUNNERS-UP: Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs
PAST WINNERS: Sergei Bobrovsky (2013 & 2017), Braden Holtby (2016), Carey Price (2015), Semyon Varlamov (2014), Jonathan Quick (2012)
DETAILS: Nine goaltenders received votes, with five (Hellebuyck, Rinne, Andersen, Marc-Andre Fleury and Sergei Bobrovsky) earning first-place votes.
THE BOBBY ORR AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSEMAN)
Our version of the Norris Trophy, this award is given to the defenseman who had the most outstanding season, focusing on all aspects of the position.
WINNER: Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning
RUNNERS-UP: P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators and John Carlson of the Washington Capitals
PAST WINNERS: Erik Karlsson (2012, 2015, 2016 & 2017), Duncan Keith (2014), P.K. Subban (2013)
DETAILS: Hedman was a runner-up last year. Ten players received votes and four (Hedman, Subban, Carlson and John Klingberg) received first-place votes.
THE EDDIE SHORE AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE DEFENSEMAN)
This category that celebrates the shutdown defender, awarding this to the defenseman who had the most outstanding season, focusing primarily on the defensive aspects of the position.
WINNER: Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings
RUNNERS-UP: Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins
PAST WINNERS: Ryan Suter (2017), Drew Doughty (2015 & 2016), Marc-Eduoard Vlasic (2014), Zdeno Chara (2012 & 2013)
DETAILS: 20 players received votes for this ward while seven of them (Doughty, Hedman, Chara, Jaccob Slavin, Ryan Suter, Mattias Ekholm and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic) received first-place votes.
THE DOUG JARVIS AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE FORWARD)
Our version of the Selke Trophy, this honours the forward who had the most outstanding season, focusing primarily on the defensive aspects of the position.
WINNER: Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins
Bergeron has been the winner (six times) or runner-up (once) in this category every year we’ve done voting.
RUNNERS-UP: Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings
PAST WINNERS: Patrick Bergeron (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017), Jonathan Toews (2015)
DETAILS: 10 players received votes, with four (Bergeron, Couturier, Kopitar and Aleksander Barkov) receiving first-place votes.
THE SCOTTY BOWMAN AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING COACH)
Our version of the Jack Adams Award, this goes to the coach who had the most outstanding season.
WINNER: Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights
RUNNERS-UP: Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators
PAST WINNERS: Mike Babcock (2017), Barry Trotz (2016), Bob Hartley (2015), Patrick Roy (2014), Paul MacLean (2013), Ken Hitchcock (2012)
DETAILS: Ten coaches received votes, but Gallant received every single first-place vote.
THE SAM POLLOCK AWARD (MOST OUTSTANDING GENERAL MANAGER)
Awarded to the general manager who had the most outstanding season.
WINNERS: George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights
RUNNERS-UP: Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Kevin Cheveldayoff of the Winnipeg Jets
PAST WINNERS: Steve Yzerman (2014, 2015 & 2017), Jarmo Kekalainen (2017), Jim Nill (2016), Ray Shero (2013), Dale Tallon (2012)
DETAILS: Nine different GMs received votes, with six receiving first-place votes.
THE BEST SALARY CAP VALUE AWARD
This award is given to the player voted to be the best bang for the salary cap buck.
WINNER: William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights
With a contract that pays him a scant $1 million, Karlsson had 43 goals and 78 points for the Golden Knights.
RUNNERS-UP: Jonathan Marchessault of the Vegas Golden Knights and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers
PAST WINNERS: Jonathan Marchessault (2017), Artemi Panarin (2016)
DETAILS: 14 different players received votes, with five different players getting first-place votes.
THE WORST SALARY CAP VALUE AWARD
This award is given to the player voted to be the worst bang for the salary cap buck.
WINNER: Loui Eriksson of the Vancouver Canucks
A repeat winner, Eriksson missed 32 games and put up just 23 points for the Canucks in the second year of a contract that pays him $6 million against the salary cap.
RUNNERS-UP: Matt Moulson of the Buffalo Sabres, Martin Hanzal of the Dallas Stars, and Zack Bogosian of the Buffalo Sabres.
PAST WINNERS: Loui Eriksson (2017), David Clarkson (2016)
DETAILS: 25 different players received votes.
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE SEASON
Left deliberately open-ended, this award honours the biggest surprise of the regular season – the player or team that most wildly exceeded expectations.
WINNER: The Vegas Golden Knights
RUNNERS-UP: William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Colorado Avalanche
PAST WINNERS: The Toronto Maple Leafs (2017), The Florida Panthers (2016), The Calgary Flames (2015), The Colorado Avalanche (2014), The Columbus Blue Jackets (2013), The Ottawa Senators (2012)
DETAILS: 11 different teams and players received votes, but the Golden Knights and Karlsson split the first-place votes.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE SEASON
The flip-side of the previous award, this award signifies the team or player who most wildly fell short of what collective wisdom said they should be.
WINNER: The Edmonton Oilers
RUNNERS-UP: The Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens
PAST WINNERS: The Dallas Stars (2017), The Montreal Canadiens (2016), The Los Angeles Kings (2015), The Vancouver Canucks (2014), The Philadelphia Flyers (2013), Alex Ovechkin (2012)
DETAILS: 12 teams (and players) received votes, with five of them receiving first-place selections.