Two Maple Leafs made an appearance in the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) mid-season awards voting, released Thursday morning.
William Nylander was named comeback player for reaching 20-plus goals after a 2018-19 season derailed by a two-month contract dispute, while Auston Matthews finished second to Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in balloting for the Lady Byng Trophy for clean play coupled with strong numbers — in Matthews’s case, 34 goals.
NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid of the Oilers topped MacKinnon for the Hart Trophy, with David Pastrnak of Boston coming third.
Other top finishers included John Carlson (Norris Trophy), Cale Makar (Calder), Connor Hellebuyck (Vezina) and Mike Sullivan (Jack Adams). Last season, the PHWA mid-season selections held up in six of the eight eventual winners.
The PHWA votes on many post-season trophies and though it does not have a say in such categories for the Adams (picked by NHL broadcasters) or the Vezina (general managers), it began the mid-season trophy voting a couple of years ago at the all-star break.
Established in 1962, the PHWA is dedicated to preserving the rights and improving the access for members of the North American-based men and women who cover the game. It also votes on all-star teams, the season-ending Bill Masterton Trophy as well as final All-Star and All-Rookie teams.
Full PHWA mid-season voting results:
HART TROPHY (to the player adjudged most valuable to his team)
1. Conner McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
3. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
NORRIS TROPHY (to the defenceman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position)
1. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
3. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes
SELKE TROPHY (to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game)
1. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues
CALDER TROPHY (to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition)
1. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
2. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
3. Victor Olofsson, Buffalo Sabres
LADY BYNG TROPHY (to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability)
1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
3. Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues
VEZINA TROPHY (to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position)
1. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
2. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
3. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes
JACK ADAMS AWARD (to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success)
1. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues
JIM GREGORY AWARD (to the General Manager adjusted to have contributed most to his team’s success)
1. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
2. John Chayka, Arizona Coyotes
3. Doug Armstrong, St. Louis Blues
ROD LANGWAY AWARD (to the defenceman who best excels in the defensive aspect of the game)
1. Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
2. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR (to the player who returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by subpar play, long-term injury or major illness)
1. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
3. Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights
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