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CHL grads take centre stage at 2017 NHL Awards

CHL graduates took centre stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday as eight were recognized for outstanding seasons at the 2017 NHL Awards ceremony.

The 2015 CHL Player of the Year and first overall selection of the 2015 NHL Draft, Edmonton Oilers centreman Connor McDavid (Erie Otters) took home the hardware, receiving the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player following a 100-point season (30-70–100) that also earned him the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer. Additionally, McDavid received the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s Most Valuable Player as voted on by members of the NHLPA.

McDavid becomes the fourth consecutive CHL graduate to earn Hart Trophy honours following Patrick Kane (London Knights/Chicago Blackhawks) in 2016, Carey Price (Tri-City Americans/Montreal Canadiens) in 2015 and Sidney Crosby (Rimouski Oceanic/Pittsburgh Penguins) in 2014.

At 20-years-old, McDavid is the third-youngest player in NHL history to win the Hart Trophy, joining elite company in fellow Oiler Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) in 1980 along with Pittsburgh’s Crosby in 2007 who both earned the distinction as 19-year-olds.

On the blue line, Brent Burns (Brampton Battalion) of the San Jose Sharks won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenceman. Burns is the first Shark to ever win the Norris Trophy, doing so for the first time in his NHL career following an outstanding season that included 29 goals, 47 assists and 76 points in 82 contests.

Burns is the fourth CHL grad to win the award in the past five seasons, joining a list that also includes Drew Doughty (Guelph Storm/Los Angeles Kings) in 2016, Duncan Keith (Kelowna Rockets/Chicago Blackhawks) in 2014 and P.K. Subban (Belleville Bulls/Montreal Canadiens) in 2013.

Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins received the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. The 29-year-old led all players with 44 goals in 75 games this past season, earning him the honour for the second time in his career.

Another well-known Canadian forward, two-way centreman Patrice Bergeron (Acadie-Bathurst Titan/Boston Bruins) earned the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward for the fourth time in his career. The 31-year-old recorded 21 goals, 32 assists and 53 points over 79 games and finished the season with a plus/minus rating of plus-24.

Bergeron joins Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey (Peterborough Petes/Montreal Canadiens) as the only other player to win the Selke four different times.

The NHL’s Vezina Trophy recipient in 2016, Braden Holtby (Saskatoon Blades/Washington Capitals) took home a different honour in the crease this past season, earning the Jennings Trophy as his Capitals surrendered the league’s fewest goals against during the regular season. Holtby turned in a 2.07 goals-against average along with a .925 save percentage in 63 games.

Off the ice, resilient goaltender Craig Anderson (Guelph Storm/Ottawa Senators) received the Masterton Trophy awarded to the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Anderson, whose wife Nicholle announced that she was cancer free in May following a diagnosis back in October, helped lead the Senators to the Eastern Conference Final this past spring. He went 25-11-4 during the season with a 2.28 goals-against-average an a .926 save percentage over 40 games.

Another OHL graduate in Nick Foligno (Sudbury Wolves/Columbus Blue Jackets) was a dual award recipient, claiming the King Clancy Memorial Trophy player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. He also received the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, an honour given annually to a player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to the team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.

Foligno and his wife, Janelle, donated $500,000 to Children’s Hospital in Boston in November as a symbol of their gratitude for the life-saving heart surgery their newborn daughter, Milana, received at the hospital in November 2013. A donation of $500,000 was also made on behalf of Milana to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

On the ice, the 29-year-old captain of the Blue Jackets recorded 26 goals, 25 assists and 51 points in 79 games.

New York Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic (Moose Jaw Warriors, Brandon Wheat Kings) was also the recipient of prestigious honour, receiving the NHL Foundation Player Award for his work with the ‘D-Partner Program.’

Hamonic, who was 10-years-old when his father, Gerald, died of a heart attack, has bonded with more than 200 children who have lost a parent at a young age through his D-Partner Program. He has spent more than $50,000 hosting D-Partner Program participants at Islanders homes games, providing rink-side seats, VIP treatment and meet-and-greets.

The 26-year-old recorded three goals, 11 assists and 14 points in 49 games with the Isles this past season.

The NHL also announced its 2016-17 all-star and all-rookie teams on Wednesday. A total of 10 CHL graduates were recognized on first, second and all-rookie all-star teams. (listed below)

CHL GRADUATES WHO WERE 2017 NHL AWARD WINNERS:

Hart Trophy (MVP): Connor McDavid (Erie Otters/Edmonton Oilers)
Art Ross Trophy (Leading Scorer): Connor McDavid (Erie Otters/Edmonton Oilers)
Maurice Richard Trophy (Top Goal-Scorer): Sidney Crosby (Rimouski Oceanic/Pittsburgh Penguins)
Ted Lindsay Award (MVP, voted by the players): Connor McDavid (Erie Otters/Edmonton Oilers)
Norris Trophy (Defenceman of the Year): Brent Burns (Brampton Battalion/San Jose Sharks)
Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Patrice Bergeron (Acadie-Bathurst Titan/Boston Bruins)
Masterton Trophy (Dedication to Hockey): Craig Anderson (Guelph Storm/Ottawa Senators)
King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Humanitarian): Nick Foligno (Sudbury Wolves/Columbus Blue Jackets)
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Nick Foligno (Sudbury Wolves/Columbus Blue Jackets)
NHL Foundation Player Award (Community Service): Travis Hamonic (Brandon, Moose Jaw/New York Islanders)
Jennings Trophy (Team with fewest goals against): Braden Holtby (Saskatoon Blades/Washington Capitals)

CHL GRADUATES ON 2016-17 NHL ALL-STAR AND ALL-ROOKIE TEAMS:

First All-Star Team
D – Brent Burns (Brampton Battalion/San Jose Sharks)
C – Connor McDavid (Erie Otters/Edmonton Oilers)
RW – Patrick Kane (London Knights/Chicago Blackhawks)
LW – Brad Marchand (Moncton, Val-d’Or, Halifax/Boston Bruins)

Second All-Star Team
G – Braden Holtby (Saskatoon Blades/Washington Capitals)
D – Duncan Keith (Kelowna Rockets/Chicago Blackhawks)
C – Sidney Crosby (Rimouski Oceanic/Pittsburgh Penguins)
RW – Nikita Kucherov (Quebec, Rouyn-Noranda/Tampa Bay Lightning)

All-Rookie Team
G – Matt Murray (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/Pittsburgh Penguins)
F – Mitch Marner (London Knights/Toronto Maple Leafs)

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