Some may feel the 2012-13 NHL season will forever have an asterix next to it, because it only lasted 48 games instead of the traditional 82. But make no mistake: the players had to work just as hard, prepare in the same way, and if anything else faced a ton more pressure than most seasons because each game meant that much more in a shortened season. The Edmonton Oilers missed the playoffs, and no one on the team was nominated for any major awards. Not a success in the things you can measure, to be sure. But there was growth on this team, and there were players who deserve recognition for strong seasons. So without further ado, here are your Edmonton Oilers award winners.
Most Valuable Player: Sam Gagner
He didn’t have the most points on the team this year (second actually), but Sam Gagner has emerged as a leader of this team on and off the ice. He’s a veteran of six years in the NHL but at age 23 he can still relate to the young stars on the roster. He doesn’t get much of the attention but that suits Gagner just fine. He was the model of consistency all season and provided the right spark when the team needed it.
Most Outstanding Player: Taylor Hall
His 50 points were tops on the team this season and his 16 goals was one shy of the team lead (Nail Yakupov). Hall is still trying to refine his game, is he a sniper, is he a playmaker, is he a power forward? Perhaps he’s all of those things, he certainly has the tools to be. Hall finished 9th overall in league scoring, a testament to his progress as a star in the NHL.
Best Rookie: Nail Yakupov
Justin Schultz had a great year but struggled defensively, finishing a team worst minus -17. Yakupov on the other hand improved with each passing game and is showing progress with his play at both ends of the ice. There’s a long way to go for Yakupov to be a strong two-way player but his offense certainly isn’t lacking. He scored a team high 17 goals and led all rookies in points.
Best Defenseman: Jeff Petry
It’s no surprise Petry was asked to represent the USA at the World Championships. His two-way play has vastly improved over the past few seasons, and he scored a career high in goals this season with three. He may not have the numbers of a guy like Schultz, but he can be counted upon to provide solid play in his own end as well as on the penalty kill.
The Best of the Rest:
- Pleasant Surprise: Lennart Petrell
- Best Goalie: Devan Dubnyk
- Best Defensive Forward: Shawn Horcoff
- Most Improved Player: Magnus Paajarvi