CHL alumni win 2020 NHL Awards


Canadian Hockey League alumni were recipients of 10 major awards for the 2019-20 National Hockey League regular season.

The league began announcing winners during post-season play throughout September but saved the most prestigious prizes for a special Monday night program ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Here’s a closer look at the winners, followed by a rundown of all-star recognitions.

Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers was recognized for his outstanding season in a big way receiving both the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player as well as the Ted Lindsay Award for Most Outstanding as voted by the players. The league’s top regular season scorer had already been awarded the Art Ross Trophy producing a career-high 110 points with 43 goals and 67 assists in 71 games and is the first German player to garner such accolades. The 24-year-old was the third overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and played two seasons as a member of the Prince Albert Raiders before joining the Kelowna Rockets where he captured a WHL title and was named MVP of the 2015 Memorial Cup.

Defenceman Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award exemplifying greater leadership qualities on and off the ice while playing a leading role in his community to grow the game of hockey. The 36-year-old captain recorded 31 points in 60 games during his 14th season and promotes physical fitness and academics through his Team Giordano program in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education. Giordano was a member of the Owen Sound Attack for two seasons between 2002-04.

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche won the Lady Byng Trophy for combining sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct, and ability. The MVP finalist was fifth in NHL scoring with 93 points including 35 goals and 58 assists in 69 games while being assessed just five penalties. The 25-year-old played two seasons for his hometown Halifax Mooseheads capped by QMJHL title and a MVP performance to win the 2013 Memorial Cup before going first overall at the draft.

Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers won the Selke Trophy as the Top Defensive Forward. Among his highlights was holding the league’s top face-off winning percentage at 59.6%, leading his team in shorthanded ice time, and recording 59 points in 69 games. The 27-year-old just wrapped up his ninth season with the club after being selected eighth overall in the 2011 NHL Draft after enjoying three seasons as a member of the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins won the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year for guiding his club to the league’s best record at 44-14-12. The 55-year-old played three seasons for his hometown Ottawa 67’s from 1982-85 before pursuing a professional career. Cassidy also spent parts of two seasons behind the bench for the Kingston Frontenacs carrying a 31-30-0-7 record in 2006-07.

Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators won the Masterton Trophy as the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. This season the 33-year-old entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for issues with alcohol abuse and took an extended leave of absence of nearly three months before returning to finish the season, highlighted by a hat-trick in his first home game back. The second overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft played four seasons for the Owen Sound Attack tallying 325 career points over 249 games.

Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his leadership qualities on and off the ice while making noteworthy humanitarian contributions to the community. The 26-year-old defenceman has been committed to racial and social justice and the Hockey is for Everyone initiative while helping form the Hockey Diversity Alliance to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey. The seventh overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft just completed his sixth full NHL season following four played in the WHL primarily with the Red Deer Rebels before graduating a member of the Portland Winterhawks.

John Carlson (London Knights) of the Washington Capitals was a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league’s Best Defenceman after leading all rearguards with 75 points in 69 games. Dominik Kubalik (Sudbury Wolves/Kitchener Rangers) of the Chicago Blackhawks was nominated for the Calder Trophy presented to the league’s Rookie of the Year in a season where he led all first year players with 30 goals. In addition to Draisaitl’s scoring title, another regular season honour automatically awarded was the William Jennings Trophy shared between the Boston Bruins goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak (Lewiston MAINEiacs) for holding the league’s lowest goals-against.

Draisaitl and Carlson both earned a place on the NHL’s First All-Star Team, with Second All-Star Team honours going to MacKinnon and fellow former QMJHL forwards Nikita Kucherov (Quebec Remparts/Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) and Brad Marchand (Moncton Wildcats/Val-d’Or Foreurs/Halifax Mooseheads), plus defenceman Alex Pietrangelo (Niagara IceDogs/Barrie Colts). Kubalik was part of the All-Rookie Team along with Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack/Guelph Storm).

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