The NHL Awards are tonight and while a number of them are already decided, there are still a few awards that are not. Specifically, the Hart, Norris, Vezina, Calder, and Ted Lindsay awards. None of the New York Islanders are up for any of them, so I’m going to conduct an internal awards ceremony.
If only Islanders players were up for the five trophy’s in question, who gets them?
“the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”
When I think about this award I’m trying to answer “how far does this team sink without player X”? There’s a case to be made for a few guys here, but I’m going with Ilya Sorokin. Without Sorokin’s play in net who knows how far the Islanders fall. Sorokin’s 0.925SV% and 2.40GAA are some of the better goalie stats in the league and it’s not like he had a particularly good team in front of him.
Dobson took a big step up and Brock Nelson was excellent yet again. But the award most valuable player was Sorokin.
“the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
Natural instinct is to hand this award to Dobson because he scored 51 points. And that’s certainly a good-ish reason. But the award is for the player with the greatest “all-round ability”. The guy whose defensive contributions are as good as his offensive ones.
I’m going with Adam Pelech here. His 28 points were second on the team for scoring from the blue line and represent an increase of 33% from last year’s pace. So offensively he got the job done well enough. But his defensive game is miles ahead of everyone else on the team. His -0.3 xGA / 60 relative and at 5on5, was the best on the team.
Dobson could get there eventually but he isn’t there now. His struggles in clearing the net or getting lost in coverage is still an issue. An issue Adam Pelech does not have.
And that’s why he wins the award.
“the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position.”
It’s Ilya Sorokin. That’s all that needs to be said.
the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League. “
I’m going to change the parameters of this award a bit. Mainly because our only eligible player is Robin Salo. So I’m changing “in his first year of competition” to “before his age 24 season”. That brings the pool up from one to four: Wahlstrom, Dobson, Salo, and Bellows.
In that field, Dobson had the most proficient season. And it’s not particularly close. Dobson ended the year really well after starting the year as cold as a Canadian winter.
“most outstanding player”
It might feel like the Lindsay Trophy and the Hart Trophy are a duplication because I’m only looking at internal candidates, but the main difference is that for the Lindsay Trophy, the players get the vote. If you pool the Isles players who do they say is the MVP?
Of course, I can’t just go and ask them individually about it but Ilya Sorokin takes this one. Maybe a few players say Brock Nelson because of his solid two-way play and his 37 goals. And they wouldn’t be wrong. But again, this goes to Sorokin.
His stats alone tell you how good of a year he had. And then you think about all the times Sorokin bailed out his team with an outstanding stop. This is yet another award Sorokin absolutely deserves.