The organization of the Canadian will not have to reserve a budget for plane tickets to Nashville in June on the occasion of the trophy ceremony, after a season like this. Nevertheless, let’s have fun awarding honors internally, to recognize the most deserving among the group.
In his first season as captain, at just 23 years old, Nick Suzuki reached career highs with 26 goals and 66 points, despite missing top wingers mid-season after injury to Cole Caufield . Suzuki is also the only one to have played all the team’s games, most of the time against the best opposing squads. Surprisingly, no striker on the team has played 70 games. Josh Anderson came close with 69 games, followed by Mike Hoffman with 67 games.
Finalistes : Samuel Montembeault, Mike Matheson
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard brought a breath of fresh air to a discouraging second half of the season by winning in an attacking trio. His 14 goals in 34 games ranks him ninth in the NHL in that category, while having played half as many games as his main rivals. He’s produced at a rate of 34 goals in a season, but with an uncharacteristically extraordinary 24% save rate, it’d be a surprise if he kept up the same pace in the long run.
However, it is important to consider age in this category and at only 20 years old (21 from January), Kaiden Guhle has exceeded expectations by establishing himself among the first pair of CH defenders, while amassing 18 points in 44 games, a pace of 34 points over a full season without participating in power plays, at least almost never. Guhle finished third among rookies in average usage per game (20:31), behind Owen Power and Jake Sanderson, two top-five picks.
Finalists: Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Arber Xhekaj
Jake Allen was expected to be number one again this winter. He was overshadowed by his seven-year-old rival his gift, the steadfast Samuel Montembeault, unfazed no matter the circumstances. The 26-year-old has played nine of the team’s last 13 fixtures. Before the rout of the last two weeks, where a large number of Laval Rocket players were called in, Montembeault even had a winning record of 15-14-3, against 15-24-3 for Allen.
The 24 goals conceded in his last five games hurt his final GAA (3.42) and save percentage (.901), but his stats still top Allen’s and he’s no longer insane to consider him as a candidate for the position of goalkeeper of the future of the Canadiens.
This Montreal defender confined to a role of supporting defender in Pittsburgh has proven to be the number one defender in a context favorable to his development, within the club of his former agent Kent Hughes and with a teacher like Martin St-Louis.
Playing just 48 games, the 29-year-old Matheson reached a career high in points with 34, a prorated 58-point production from a full season of 82 games.
His 24:27 average rushing time per game ranks him 11th in the NHL, tied with Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks. He averaged 18 minutes per game in Pittsburgh.
Matheson has three years left on his contract at an annual salary of $4.87 million. To say that we found his contract too heavy not so long ago. No one misses Jeff Petry in Montreal.
Finalistes : David Savard, Kaiden Guhle
The Canadian now has the chance to count on two young centers of the first rank. Nick Suzuki is considered by many to be the most gifted defensively, but Dach was already considered an excellent defensive player from a young age in Chicago, and he proved it once his place in the center was consolidated. It was not uncommon to see him playing more than 22 minutes per game after the holidays.
At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Dach is more physically imposing than Suzuki, 5-foot-11, 208 pounds, has a longer range and remains more reliable in general in its territory, although Suzuki does not have to blush for its performance in this regard.
Dach must nevertheless improve his efficiency during the face-offs. He has gone from 32.8% to 38.3% since last year, but will have to exceed at least 50% to become the defensive center of dream.
Finalistes : Nick Suzuki, Jake Evans
Caufield terrorizes opposing goaltenders with his blistering shot, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly on an ice rink. He has also received only one minor penalty this season. The eternal smile on his face, he is also a gentleman in the locker room. His 26 goals in 46 games, at just 21 years old (he turned 22 in January), a pro rata production of 46 goals from an 82-game season, suggests a phenomenal continuation in his case.
Finalists: Jesse Ylonen, Jonathan Drouin.
Despite the hiring of John Klinberg and Ryan Strome on the free agent market last summer, and the rise of promising young players, the Anaheim Ducks end the 2022-2023 season in last place overall, therefore with a 25% chance of drafting Connor Bedard in June.
They amassed 18 fewer points than the previous season. That says a lot about the work of Dallas Eakin, one of the most overrated coaches in NHL history. Eakin got a second chance in Anaheim despite a disastrous experience in Edmonton. He now has a career record of 136-210-58, but he may have done the organization a huge favor if they win the lottery on May 8.