Unfortunately (or mercifully, depending on who you ask), the NHL season has officially come to an end, and the Pittsburgh Penguins will have the luxury of lugging around that big shiny piece of metal this summer. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop thinking/talking about hockey!
I’m sure the second Patric Hornqvist slid that puck into the empty net as the final seconds ticked away on Joe Thornton’s cup hopes, the first thought that came to your head was, “who is going to win the Norris trophy for the 2016-2017 NHL season?”
Alright, maybe not; but ours was!
Even though the NHL has not handed out their 2015-2016 awards (the awards ceremony will be on June 22), it’s pretty obvious who is taking home the majority of the trophies. That means it’s definitely not too early to take a peek at some of the odds for who will be bringing home hardware at the 2017 NHL awards show.
NHL 2017 Awards Odds
Hart Trophy (MVP):
Soon-to-be 2016 winner: Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)
- Patrick Kane (Blackhawks): 22/3
- Sidney Crosby (Penguins): 17/2
- Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals): 10/1
- Jamie Benn (Stars): 12/1
- Tyler Seguin (Stars): 12/1
- Carey Price (Canadiens): 18/1
- Steven Stamkos (Lightning/pending free agent): 20/1
Patrick Kane looked absolutely unstoppable last season for the Blackhawks, and I fully expect more eyes to be on him next season. However, opposing teams can not sell out to stop Kane due to the other talented scorers in the Chicago lineup: Jonathan Toews, Artemi Panarin, Marian Hossa, etc. Kane’s scoring dominance may last for at least one more year.
Should Carey Price’s return from injury propel the Canadiens back into the playoffs, it wouldn’t surprise me if the goaltender won his second Hart Trophy in three seasons.
Steven Stamkos gets a look here thanks to the strong possibility that he will be signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I am not suggesting his presence takes them to the playoffs right away, but he would be in a market where his play would be on full-display for the hockey world. And he’d get a ton of the credit if the Leafs have a sudden turnaround.
Maurice Richard Trophy (Most Goals):
2016 winner: Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals)
- Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals): 9/2
- Patrick Kane (Blackhawks): 6/1
- Steven Stamkos (Lightning/pending free agent): 7/1
- Vladimir Tarasenko (Blues): 7/1
- Jamie Benn (Stars): 10/1
Alexander Ovechkin has led the league in goals in four consecutive years (and six, total). He remains the odds-on favorite for the award until someone can dethrone him, or until teams stop letting him get off that ridiculous one-timer from just outside the faceoff circle.
Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie):
Soon-to-be 2016 winner: Braden Holtby (Capitals)
- Jonathan Quick (Kings): 13/2
- Ben Bishop (Lightning): 7/1
- Carey Price (Canadiens): 15/2
- Braden Holtby (Capitals): 9/1
- Henrik Lundqvist (Rangers): 12/1
Jonathan Quick had a bit of an “off year” last season and was still nominated for the Vezina trophy. I expect Quick and the Kings to bounce back this coming season. Quick has never won the award, and I think he’s due.
Before Carey Price was injured, he was playing the best hockey of his career. We don’t know how his knee injury will affect his future, but he has to be considered a strong favorite if he does return to full health.
Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman):
Soon-to-be 2016 winner: Erik Karlsson (Senators)
- Erik Karlsson (Senators): 19/3
- Drew Doughty (Kings): 13/2
- Duncan Keith (Blackhawks): 7/1
- Kris Letang (Penguins):
- P.K. Subban (Canadiens):
- Brent Burns (Sharks):
- Ryan Suter (Wild):
Generally, we see the same guys win the Norris trophy year in and year out, which is why you see the odds so heavily in the favor of the top-tier of this list.
Karlsson is already a two-time winner and continues to improve each year. Not only does the Ottawa Senators’ defenseman score, but he’s also logging more minutes than ever, almost 29 minutes per game last season.
Drew Doughty has never won the Norris and, as I previously mentioned, I believe the Kings will reclaim their dominant form next season.
Brent Burns’ point totals have exploded in his last two seasons as a Shark, but he doesn’t do enough defensively to be considered a favorite.
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year):
Soon-to-be 2016 winner: Artemi Panarin (Blackhawks)
- Auston Matthews (draft eligible): 15/2
- Patrik Laine (draft eligible): 8/1
- Mitchell Marner (Maple Leafs): 17/2
- William Nylander (Maple Leafs): 10/1
- Dylan Strome (Coyotes): 11/1
- Jesse Puljujarvi (draft eligible): 11/1
The fact that you see, potentially, three Maple Leafs here (Toronto is likely to make Auston Matthews the no. 1 overall pick) confirms that Brendan Shanahan and company are doing something right. Matthews is the favorite because he’s the most NHL-ready of the bunch, maybe outside of William Nylander.
If we knew Mitch Marner was going to be a Leaf next season, he may be the favorite to win the Calder, as he just tore up the OHL. He may be a little undersized, but playing another year in the OHL won’t help his development; he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the league.
There’s always a chance that next year produces another Artemi Panarin, i.e. an undrafted, 24-year-old rookie who played in the KHL for the last seven seasons, and was not even the top-ranked prospect in his team’s pool. It’s not likely but, hey, if you want to bet on Pavel Buchnevich, be my guest.
(Photo credit: Lisa Gansky [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)