Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

The 2023-24 NHL season gets underway this week, which means it’s time for some awards predictions that will most likely be completely wrong. Below are my picks for who will take home the hardware at the end of the season. 

But first….here are some stats and info on the history of the Trophies thanks to NHL.com

Wayne Gretzky won the Art Ross Trophy a record 10 times in his career. 

Patrice Bergeron’s six Selke Trophy wins are the most by any player in NHL history. 

Connor McDavid edged out David Pastrnak for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy by three goals last season. 

The Calder Trophy, annually given to the top rookie, is named after former NHL President Frank Calder! 

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery won the Jack Adams Award during the 2022-23 season. Montgomery was the fifth Bruins coach in history to win it following Bruce Cassidy (2019-20), Claude Julien (2008-09), Pat Burns (1997-98), and Don Cherry (1975-76). 

Bobby Orr won the James Norris Memorial Trophy a record 8 times in his career. 

The Vezina Trophy has been won by a goalie who was a first time winner of the award for 6 consecutive seasons. 

Connor McDavid will look to become the first player to win back to back Hart Trophy’s as league MVP since Alexander Ovechkin did it during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons! 

Art Ross Trophy – Most Points – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers 

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 11: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers sklates in the overtime period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on April 11, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – APRIL 11: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers sklates in the overtime period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on April 11, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

I’m getting the easy one out of the way early. As long as McDavid stays healthy this season he’ll be the league leader in points. It’ll be his sixth Art Ross of his career and fourth in a row. His sixth Art Ross would tie him for second on the all-time list of winners with Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe and it would place him just four Art Ross wins away from tying Wayne Gretzky for the most in NHL history.

  • Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy – Top Goal Scorer – Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

    Jan 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) is congratulated at the bench after scoring against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) is congratulated at the bench after scoring against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    After a “down” year last year where he only scored 40 goals, I fully expect Matthews to get back to scoring goals basically at will. His 61 goal season during the 2021-22 campaign wasn’t a fluke. He should flirt with another 60 goal season in Toronto again in the 2023-24 campaign.

  • Frank J. Selke Trophy – Top Defensive Forward –  Joel Eriksson Ek, Minnesota Wild

    Minnesota Wild v Seattle Kraken

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 13: Joel Eriksson Ek #14 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Seattle Kraken during the third period on November 13, 2021 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Patrice Bergeron has retired, which means someone else will win the Selke Trophy this season. Eriksson Ek has finished in the top-10 of the Selke voting the last three seasons and is one of the best two-way centers in the NHL. Eriksson Ek typically starts most of his shifts in the defensive zone, which shows how much trust the Wild put in him on the defensive side of things. Look for Eriksson Ek to claim his first Selke this season.

  • Calder Memorial Trophy – Rookie of the Year – Connor Bedard, Chicago Blackhawks

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 05: Connor Bedard #98 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of a preseason game at the United Center on October 05, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    The first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft dazzled with some highlight reel moves in preseason action, which shows that he is already capable of taking on NHL level talent. I don’t think it’ll be a runaway, but I expect Bedard to make a statement in his rookie season and begin what should be a long career for him in the NHL.

  • Jack Adams Award – Top Head Coach – Lindy Ruff, New Jersey Devils

    Apr 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    The Devils took a major step forward last season in Ruff’s third year with the club and they should be one of the top contenders in the NHL in 2023-24. Ruff got the most out of his young talent in 2022-23 and I expect him to do the same as he leads the Devils back to the playoffs again this season.

  • James Norris Memorial Trophy – Top Defenseman – Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche 

    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: Cale Makar #8 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Boston Bruins during the first period of a game at the TD Garden on February 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins won 5-1. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 21: Cale Makar #8 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Boston Bruins during the first period of a game at the TD Garden on February 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins won 5-1. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    I expect the 2021-22 Norris Trophy winner to claim his second victory this season in Colorado. Makar is a smooth skating defenseman who can put up goals and points but also be a reliable defender in his own zone. And the scary part is that he hasn’t even reached his prime yet. It’ll be the second of what could be many for Makar.

  • Vezina Trophy – Top Goaltender – Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars 

    Dallas Stars v Vegas Golden Knights - Game Five

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 27: Jake Oettinger #29 of the Dallas Stars covers the puck as he defends the net against the Vegas Golden Knights in the second period of Game Five of the Western Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena on May 27, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Stars defeated the Golden Knights 4-2. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    Oettinger is coming off his best season as a full-time starter in the NHL and should only get better. The Stars boast a solid lineup in front of him and he’ll backstop the Stars to a Central Division title in the 2023-24 season.

  • Hart Memorial Trophy – Most Valuable Player – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers 

    2023 NHL Awards - Show

    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JUNE 26: Connor McDavid poses with his trophies after the 2023 NHL Awards show at the Bridgestone Arena on June 26, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    McDavid is the best player in the league. He’s in his own category. Like I said on the Art Ross prediction…as long as McDavid stays healthy he’ll be the MVP once again.

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