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2021 NHL Awards: Kirill Kaprizov takes home the Calder

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Hardware season is here for the NHL. While the biggest of them all -- the Stanley Cup -- has yet to be awarded, the five major NHL awards were handed out Tuesday night at the 2021 NHL Awards show. Those honors that were presented were the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Vezina Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award, the James Norris Memorial Trophy and the Calder Memorial Trophy. 

The Professional Hockey Writers Association voted on all of the awards except for the Ted Lindsay Award, which is voted on by the players. The finalists for the awards were announced earlier this month, and all of the other NHL awards were given out during the Stanley Cup semifinals. 

Here are the results of the five major NHL awards for the 2020-21 season. 

Connor McDavid wins the Ted Lindsay Award and Hart Memorial Trophy

Surprise, surprise. The Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid went home with both the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player and the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player as voted on by his peers. 

McDavid made professional hockey look fairly easy this season. Despite it being a shortened season, the Oilers captain eclipsed 100 points, finishing the regular season with a total of 105. He led the league in that category as well as assists with 72. His 33 goals were second behind the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews and his 1.88 points per game was .38 higher than the next best average. McDavid also led the league in power-play points (37) and even-strength points. 

 

It was McDavid’s second time winning the Hart, as he won it in 2017, and his third time winning the Ted Lindsay, having previously been selected for the honor in 2017 and 2018. McDavid is just the seventh player all time to win the Ted Lindsay at least three times and just the second player ever to win the Hart unanimously, joining fellow Oiler great Wayne Gretzky in that category. 

Matthews was a finalist for both of these awards. The Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon was the other finalist for the Hart and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby was the other finalist for the Ted Lindsay. 

Marc-Andre Fleury gets his first Vezina Trophy

Three Stanley Cups. Fourth-most playoff wins of all time in the NHL. Third-highest win total of all time in the NHL. And finally, a Vezina Trophy winner. 

After being named a finalist for the first time in his 17-year career, Vegas Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was honored as the top goaltender in the NHL this season. Fleury finished third in the league in wins (26), goals against average (1.98) and save percentage (.928). His six shutouts also put him at No. 3 in the league. Along with Robin Lehner, the two Golden Knights goaltenders won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the league’s best goaltending tandem. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Avalanche’s Philip Grubauer were the other finalists for the Vezina. 

Adam Fox awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy

New York Rangers’ Adam Fox made history by becoming the first player ever to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman despite being on a non-playoff team. Fox was fantastic in his second NHL season, finishing second among defensemen in points with 47. He also was second among blueliners in power-play points (23) and third in takeaways (38). 

The Harvard product led all Rangers in time on ice (TOI), in addition to leading all Rangers defensemen in power-play TOI and shorthanded TOI. The first Ranger since Brian Leetch in 1973 to win the award, Fox has already put himself among the league’s best on the blue line at just 23 years old. 

Fox beat out the Lightning’s Victor Hedman and Avalanche’s Cale Makar for the award. 

 

Kirill Kaprizov takes home the Calder Memorial Trophy

To the surprise of no one, the Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov was honored as the NHL’s top rookie this season. The Russian winger led all rookies in points (51) and goals (27) and was second in assists with 24. Kaprizov also led the Wild in points and goals and tied for second in assists. 

Despite the success in the NHL, Kaprizov, who played six seasons in the KHL, may not be returning to the Wild. He’s a restricted free agent this summer and the contract talks between Kaprizov and the Wild have reportedly “gone cold” and CSKA Moscow of the KHL is interested in signing him. Nonetheless, Kaprizov had a sensational rookie season and the hope for the Wild is to see him back in Minnesota next season. 

Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars and Alex Nedeljkovic of the Carolina Hurricanes were the other two finalists.