The big winner at the NHL awards on Wednesday night was Edmonton Oiler Connor McDavid as he joined Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky in winning the Hart Trophy symbolic of league MVP before turning 21.
At the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Wednesday night, the hockey world watched as McDavid was coronated as heir to the throne as the game’s best player by taking home the league’s top individual prizes in the Hart and Ted Lindsay Award, the latter the MVP honor as voted by his fellow players.
McDavid was the league’s lone 100-point player in 2016-17, winning the Art Ross race by 11 points. En route to reaching the century mark for the first time in his career, McDavid was one of 26 players to score 30 goals and led the league with an outstanding 70 assists. And while his scoring was undoubtedly impressive, it was the impact he had on the group around him that was most awe-inspiring. With McDavid healthy and in the lineup for all 82 games — he missed 37 games of his rookie campaign in 2015-16 — the Oilers saw an improvement of 33 points. No other team took a greater leap forward this past season, and McDavid was undoubtedly the prime catalyst behind the resurgence in Edmonton.
It was also announced McDavid would be the face of EA Sports' NHL 18 video game.
Other award winners were:
NORRIS TROPHY: Brent Burns
CALDER TROPHY: Auston Matthews
VEZINA TROPHY: Sergei Bobrovsky
SELKE TROPHY - Patrice Bergeron
LADY BYNG TROPHY - Johnny Gaudreau
JACK ADAMS TROPHY - John Tortorella
BILL MASTERTON TROPHY - Craig Anderson
The Vegas Golden Knights got their jerseys on Tuesday, and on Wednesday they started filling them.
Among the team's picks, which came from each of the NHL's other 30 teams by way of lists of unprotected veterans, were longtime Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Nashville Predators forward James Neal and Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot.
David Clarkson, Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch, Mikhail Grabovski, Jake Bischoff and at least 10 different future draft picks also landed in Vegas as part of separate trades executed by Golden Knights general manager George McPhee.
In order of selection in between the NHL's handout of awards, here are all 30 of the Golden Knights' expansion draft selections:
- G Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche
- D Luca Sbisa, Vancouver Canucks
- F Teemu Pulkkinen, Arizona Coyotes
- D Jon Merrill, New Jersey Devils
- F William Carrier, Buffalo Sabres
- F Tomas Nosek, Detroit Red Wings
- F Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars
- F Jonathan Marchessault, Florida Panthers
- D Brayden McNabb, Los Angeles Kings
- F Connor Brickley, Carolina Hurricanes
- F Chris Thorburn, Winnipeg Jets
- F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Philadelphia Flyers
- D Jason Garrison, Tampa Bay Lightning
- G Jean-Francois Berube, New York Islanders
- F James Neal, Nashville Predators
- D Deryk Engelland, Calgary Flames
- F Brendan Leipsic, Toronto Maple Leafs
- D Colin Miller, Boston Bruins
- D Marc Methot, Ottawa Senators
- D David Schlemko, San Jose Sharks
- F David Perron, St. Louis Blues
- F Oscar Lindberg, New York Rangers
- D Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oilers
- D Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens
- D Clayton Stoner, Anaheim Ducks
- F Erik Haula, Minnesota WIld
- F William Karlsson, Columbus Blue Jackets
- D Trevor van Riemsdyk, Chicago Blackhawks
- G Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
- D Nate Schmidt, Washington Capitals