In conjunction with the upcoming Stanley Cup Qualifiers, the NHL has announced its annual awards finalists including several Americans. For more information about the NHL awards and previous winners, click here.
The award, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is given annually to the best defenseman in the NHL. The winner will be announced during the Conference Finals.
Carlson led defensemen in assists (60) and points (75), each an NHL career high, and tied his high with 15 goals in 69 games for the Washington Capitals this season. He averaged 1.09 points per game to become the first NHL defenseman since Ray Bourque (1.26), Sergei Zubov (1.14) and Al MacInnis (1.09) in 1993-94 to average more than one point per game for a season. Carlson averaged 24:38 of ice time per game, was first among defensemen in game-winning goals with six and second in power-play points with 26, and had 108 blocked shots and a plus-12 rating. Carlson played for Team USA three times during his career, including his famous overtime-winning goal to capture a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Stanley Cup champion played twice with the Men’s National Team, at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The award, voted on by NHL general managers, is given annually to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.
Hellebuyck (31-21-5, 2.57 GAA, .922 SV%) backstopped the Jets to a place in the Western Conference Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 9-ranked team, leading all goaltenders in games (58), shots faced (1,796), saves (1,656) and shutouts (six). He ranked second overall in starts (56), wins (31) and minutes (3,268:33). The 27-year-old recorded 31 of the 37 Jets wins (83.8%), the second-highest percentage among goaltenders on the 24 teams set to resume play. Hellebuyck faced 37-or-more shots on 13 occasions and posted a 10-1-2 record, 2.08 GAA and .949 SV% in those contests, including a career-high 51 saves in a 3-2 win at San Jose Nov. 1 in which the Jets were outshot 53-19. Hellebuyck is a Vezina Trophy finalist for the second time in three seasons (2nd in 2017-18) and is seeking to become the first goaltender in Jets/Thrashers history to capture the award. Hellebuyck has been named to the U.S. Men’s National Team three times throughout his career, including his impressive run at the 2015 IIHF Men’s World Championship when Team USA earned a bronze medal. Hellebuyck won seven of his eight starts, including two shutouts, while posting a .948 SV% and 1.37 GAA. In addition to his USA Hockey experience, Hellebuyck played for Team North America, comprised of the best players from the United States and Canada under the age of 23, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The award, voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is presented annually to the NHL player voted as the most proficient in his first year of competition. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy after the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.
Hughes posted 53 points in 68 games to become the third defenseman in the NHL's modern era (since 1943-44) to top all rookies in scoring, joining Brian Leetch (1988-89) and Bobby Orr (1966-67). His 53 points were the most by any rookie blueliner since 1991-92, when Nicklas Lidstrom compiled 60 points in 80 appearances, and three shy of Dale Tallon's single-season franchise record for a rookie defenseman, set in 10 more games in 1970-71 (56 points in 78 GP). Hughes also led all 2019-20 rookies in assists (45), power-play assists (22) and power-play points (25), while ranking among the top five in average time on ice (2nd; 21:53), total time on ice (2nd; 1,488:09) and shots on goal (5th; 126). The 20-year-old a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2015-17, winning a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Prior to being selected by Vancouver in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft, Hughes graduated from the NTDP as the 6th all-time career points getter by a defenseman (77), as well as ranks 3rd for single-season points scored by a defenseman (53 points in 2016-17). Hughes played for both the U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. National Junior Team in 2018 and 2019, winning both a silver (2019) and bronze (2018) medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship, and a bronze (2018) at the IIHF Men’s World Championship.
The award, voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association, is given annually to the coach voted as best in the NHL. The winner will be announced during the Conference Finals.
Tortorella guided the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15, .579 points percentage) to a berth in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Columbus overcame injuries to numerous players throughout the season, including Cam Atkinson (Riverside, Conn.), Seth Jones (Arlington, Texas) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.). The Blue Jackets were fourth in goals-against per game (2.61) and twice had point streaks of at least 10 games (8-0-4 from Dec. 9-Jan. 2; 9-0-1 from Jan. 11- Feb. 7). Tortorella, a two-time Jack Adams Award winner (2017-18 with Blue Jackets; 2003-04 with Lightning) and a finalist for the award for the fifth time, could join Pat Burns (1988-89 Montreal Canadiens; 1992-93 Toronto Maple Leafs; 1997-98 Bruins) as the only coaches to win the award three times. Tortorella has served on three Team USA coaching staffs: head coach of both the 2016 Men’s National Team that competed in the World Cup of Hockey and 2008 Men’s National Team that competed in the IIHF Men’s World Championship, in addition to serving as an assistant coach on the Men’s National Team that competed in the 2005 Men’s World Championship.
The award, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, is given annually to the NHL player who best combines sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability. The winner will be announced during the Conference Finals.
Matthews finished third in the League with an NHL career-best 47 goals and 80 points in 70 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The center had 12 power-play goals and was plus-19, averaging 20:58 of ice time per game, second among Toronto forwards, and was assessed four minor penalties totaling eight minutes. It is the first Lady Byng nomination for Matthews, who would be the first Maple Leafs player to win the award since 2002-03. The 22-year-old was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2013-15, winning gold twice at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship in both 2014 and 2015. Matthews was named tournament MVP in 2015 after leading all players in points and goals. The Arizona native also played in two IIHF World Junior Championships, winning bronze with Team USA in 2016 after leading the tournament in goals scored. A few months later, Matthews was named to the U.S. Men’s National Team and led Team USA in points and goals scored. In addition to his USA Hockey experience, Matthews played for Team North America, comprised of the best players from the United States and Canada under the age of 23, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The award, voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is presented annually to the NHL player voted to best exemplify the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The winner will be announced during the Conference Finals.
Johns made his season debut for the Dallas Stars on Jan. 18 after missing 22 months because of post-traumatic headaches. After developing the headaches during training camp, the defenseman did not play in 2018-19 and missed the first 47 games this season. Johns was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2008-10, winning a gold medal at the 2010 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. The defenseman played for Team USA in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship the following year.
Ryan took an extended leave of absence from the Ottawa Senators in November to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, citing issues with alcohol abuse. The forward returned against the Nashville Predators on Feb. 25, and two days later, he scored a hat trick in his first home game back, a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Ryan has represented USA Hockey internationally three times throughout his career, including winning a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Games. Ryan was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship, as well as the U.S. National Junior Team in 2006 that competed in the IIHF World Junior Championship.