It couldn’t have worked out any better for Connor McDavid.
In the midst of the OHL Finals in his own back yard, the OHL announced what everyone already knew. Connor McDavid was named the winner of the Red Tilson Trophy. The award goes to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player. This announcement wasn’t expected to bring much drama with it. But when the voting results were revealed, some drama ensued.
McDavid won the award with over 94% of 1st place votes. Somehow, 6% of voters didn’t give McDavid a 1st place vote. This news immediately led some to question who didn’t cast their 1st place vote for McDavid.
Seriously, how did 6 per cent of media not vote for Connor McDavid – who won- for OHL's most outstanding player?
— Josh Brown (@BrownRecord) May 12, 2015
— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) May 12, 2015
Connor McDavid wins the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL's Most Outstanding player with 94% of the media vote… who do the other 6% work for?
— Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) May 12, 2015
These are some of the most respected media out there asking who was amongst the 6%. At least one prominent media member stepped up and defended his pick.
@sunayas I voted for Domi. Defense was the edge for me (even though CMcD was great in that area). Domi was a 3 zone force this season.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) May 12, 2015
Corey does amazing work with ESPN, and follows prospects about as well as anyone can. For him to make this proclamation does have to make you stop and think for a minute. Why would he say Domi was more outstanding than McDavid? The answer is simple really. It depends what you believe outstanding is.
The Subjective Nature Of Voting
That is the fascinating part of voting in things like Most Outstanding Player. Pronman clearly values defense. In defending his vote for Max Domi, he states that defense was the edge for him. Pronman calls Domi “a 3-zone force”. In his mind, outstanding means more than just offense.
You can ask all 80 voters who took part in the process of naming the Most Outstanding Player. Each voter in their mind has their own definition of what Most Outstanding is. They were not voting for an MVP. They were not voting for the best offensive player. They were voting for Most Outstanding player.
Many will tell you that McDavid is outstanding because of his insane offensive skills. Some will tell you that the way he makes his teammates better is the reason why he is most outstanding. Some will say it’s the way he handles himself on and off the ice. That’s what makes subjective voting interesting. You might get a different reason from every voter.
Even McDavid Is Subject To Subjective Voting
Pronman was not the only one who didn’t give McDavid a 1st place vote. As of this moment, we are not sure who else gave their 1st place vote to another player. But the fact remains. As great as McDavid was this season, a couple of voters saw something in other players that made them more outstanding. It doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. It means that their view of what makes someone outstanding is different.
We don’t have to agree with those voters. But I respect those voters for sticking by their guns, even if more than 94% of their colleagues disagree with them. If this vote proves anything, it proves that it is purely subjective, based on what the voter perceives. At the end of the day, McDavid was still the runaway winner. But kudos to Corey Pronman for sharing his vote and sticking to his guns. Let’s hope that this happens much more often.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.