The Calgary Flames could have a few players take home NHL awards this season. The team looks very strong and will get great contributions from many members whether they win awards or not.
The Flames have a shot at taking home a number of league awards, including the Vezina Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy, Selke Trophy, and Calder Trophy. A long shot would be the Norris, but the team is much stronger as a complete defensive unit rather than having one player dominate. Here’s a look at who might win awards for Calgary this season.
Jacob Markstrom – Vezina
Jacob Markstrom has solidified himself as one of the league’s top goaltenders. He finished second in Vezina Trophy voting last season, and if it weren’t for a once-in-a-generation season by New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, Markstrom would’ve taken home the brass. He also finished fourth in voting in 2019-20 and 10th in 2018-19.
Markstrom has an incredible defence core in front of him, along with an amazing defensively-minded coach in Darryl Sutter, which should provide him with the tools for a repeat performance. The team added Mackenzie Weegar, who is excellent at defending, as well as Elias Lindholm, who should be in the running for the Selke Trophy. Shesterkin will be Markstrom’s top competition for the Vezina and considering that the Rangers’ defence only got younger and more inexperienced this offseason, it will take another amazing performance to stay ahead of the Flames’ starter.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Art Ross, Hart
Jonathan Huberdeau is likely the only player on the Flames who will be in contention for two awards. It will be tough, given his elite competition, as well as the chemistry he must form with his new linemates. However, he has averaged well over a point per game for four consecutive seasons and had an offensive outburst of 115 points in 2021-22, good for second in the NHL.
He will need another performance like that if he wants to compete for the Art Ross, as he will need to top Connor McDavid and likely a couple of others. The Flames aren’t the offensive juggernaut the Florida Panthers were, but Huberdeau will get first-line minutes in Calgary. He is very effective on the power play so that production should carry over to this season, as well as his elite five-on-five production.
Huberdeau finished fifth in Hart Trophy voting last season, but there was stiff competition. Yet, he has an opportunity to again be a driving force for his team and put up points worthy of Hart consideration.
Elias Lindholm – Selke
Elias Lindholm has received Selke Trophy votes as the best defensive forward in the NHL in three of his four seasons in Calgary. Last season, he elevated his game to another level and finished second in voting. His linemates helped, but his play was the driving force behind his consideration for the trophy.
Lindholm may not get as much help from his linemates this season, but that should prove his importance and what he brings to the team defensively. He will be the Flames’ number one penalty-killer, and that says something considering they also have Blake Coleman and Mikael Backlund in the lineup. Even if the same names keep coming up for the Selke, Patrice Bergeron, who continues to take home the award, is now 37. This may be Lindholm’s time to dethrone the Boston Bruins’ captain.
Jakob Pelletier – Calder
Jakob Pelletier, the Flames’ first-round pick in 2019, has risen through the ranks quickly. He has been extremely impressive and seamlessly made the jump to pro last season from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). After finishing with over a point-per-game in all four junior seasons, he turned pro and put up 27 goals and 62 points in 66 American Hockey League (AHL) games.
Pelletier finished 15th in the AHL in scoring as a rookie and second on his team behind only 24-year-old Matthew Phillips. With room in the lineup for Pelletier this season, it is very likely he will get his first shot at the NHL on the third line. Having a veteran like Backlund should help Pelletier become a better two-way player quickly, and he could be eased into the NHL in a low-pressure role. Seeing that he has scored and put up points everywhere he has played, it’s not a stretch to think the rookie winger will once again do so, only this time in the NHL.
The Flames have a strong chance of having one of their players take home an individual award. The team as a whole is very good and they should have a good season. Which Flames player(s) do you think will win an award in 2022-23?
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer covering mainly the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date with NHL Stats News and trade talks.
You can find more of his work here.