Canucks Midseason Awards 2022-23

The Vancouver Canucks have officially hit the midway point of their season, holding a 17-21-3 record through their first 41 games. While it is safe to say it has not gone the way they expected, there have been some positives with certain players stepping up throughout the season.

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Here is a look at which players would win the year-end team awards if they were handed out at the midway point of the season.

Cyclone Taylor Trophy – “Most Valuable Player”: Elias Pettersson

Elias Pettersson has become everything the Canucks hoped for when they drafted him. He leads the team in points with 50 in 39 games and has become one of the top up-and-coming two-way centers in the league. One of the few untouchables on the team when it comes to trade discussions, he continues to elevate his game as the season progresses.

Elias Pettersson Vancouver Canucks
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

When on the ice, Pettersson drives the play and has become a premier setup man in the NHL. His 20 primary assists sit ninth in the league, and he has registered a point on 69.44% of the goals scored when he is on the ice. He has also become an offensive threat on the penalty kill, having recorded an assist and registering seven shots while shorthanded. It is clear that he is the future of this franchise and is on the cusp of being a top-10 player in the NHL.

Walter (Babe) Pratt Trophy – “Best Defenceman”: Quinn Hughes

Quinn Hughes is a special talent and arguably the best defenceman this franchise has ever seen. He sits at 36 points in 37 games and is on pace to break his single-season franchise record of 68 points by a defenceman that he set last season. One of the league’s most dynamic defenders, he sits sixth in points among defencemen and tenth in assists across the entire NHL.

Related: Canucks Drafted the Best Defenceman in 2018 With Quinn Hughes

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Just like Pettersson, Hughes continues to get stronger defensively. He has seen an increase in penalty kill time, and the Canucks’ coaching staff isn’t afraid to give him tough shut-down matchups. Another player that should be considered untouchable in trade talks, Canucks fans should be ever grateful he fell into Vancouver’s lap at the 2018 Entry Draft.

Pavel Bure Award – “Most Exciting Player”: Bo Horvat

Amidst trade rumours, Bo Horvat is having his best season in the NHL, with 29 goals and 46 points in his first 41 games. Vancouver’s captain isn’t afraid to drive the net and has become one of the best in the league at the bumper position on the power play. The team leader in game-winning goals this season, he isn’t afraid to put the team on his back and try to change the momentum in the Canucks favour.

A drafted and developed player, Horvat has always worn the Canucks jersey with pride through good times and bad. While he isn’t a perfect player, it is hard to argue with his effort level as he is willing to do all the little things needed for the team to have success. He has brought the Canucks faithful to their feet plenty of times over the years and has already piled up plenty of exciting moments through the first 41 games of the season.

Fred J. Hume Award – “Unsung Hero”: Luke Schenn

Luke Schenn’s impact on the Canucks has been felt on and off the ice. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has exceeded all expectations to the point where he is one of Vancouver’s best trade assets going into the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. Whether it is throwing 193 hits, blocking 69 shots, or consistently standing up for his teammates, he has had a memorable first half of the season.

Related: Canucks’ Schenn Keeps Getting Better With Age

Known mostly for his defence, Schenn is also producing offensively and is on pace for a career year. He has 14 points in 41 games and is just eight off his career high of 22 set during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. While most of his points are assists, it should be noted that the majority are primary assists. In fact, his seven primary assists at even strength this season are tied with J.T. Miller and Andrei Kuzmenko for fifth on the Canucks. He has been one of the hardest-working players on the Canucks all season and, clearly, their unsung hero.

Plenty Of Hockey Left To Be Played

While it looks like another year of no playoffs for the Canucks, there is still plenty of storylines to follow during the final 41 games of 2022-23. From the trade deadline to potential milestones, including Pettersson’s 300th career point and Hughes’ 200th career assist, there is still a lot of hockey to be played this season. Whether the team tanks for Connor Bedard or pushes for a playoff spot, it is clear these four players will be playing a key role for Vancouver as the season progresses.

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