Mid-Season Trophy Winners 

All NHL teams have now played over 41 games and the All-Star Game is coming up. That marks the unofficial midway point of the season. It’s time to handout the mid-season trophy winners. Things can change in the second half of the season but for now, these players and coaches have enjoyed a great first half.   

NHL Trophy Winners At The Break 

Hart Trophy – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers 

This mid-season trophy winner is a no brainer. The Hart Trophy is no contest. Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid is the league’s most valuable player, the league’s best player and all-around good guy. Who knows where the Oilers would be without him. The Erie Otters product makes everyone around him better. 

I made a road trip to Peterborough, Ontario in 2012 to watch this phenom play. At the age of 15, he did not disappoint playing against much older players. I knew then he was the real deal and he has lived up to the lofty expectations. 

Ted Lindsay Award – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers 

See above. While the fans marvel at his talents from the seats and 31 NHL executives dream of having him on their team, the players are more aware than anyone in the game. McDavid is as good as it gets. There is no more meaningful praise than that which comes from your peers.  

Art Ross Trophy – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers 

McDavid is running away with the scoring title. He is on pace to finish almost 30 points ahead of his closest competitor. Not surprisingly, teammate Leon Draisaitl currently sits in second place and many of his points come with the help of #97.  

Last week, he became the fastest player to score 40 goals in a season since Florida Panthers sniper Pavel Bure also did it in 48 games in 1999-2000. He is getting close to the legendary status for hockey pools. Like Gretzky in his heyday, it’s almost time to split his goals and assists.  

Norris Trophy – Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks 

This set of the mid-season trophy winners is a beautiful thing. What a story! When the Ottawa Senators traded Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in 2018, he had already won the Norris Trophy twice. However, his game deteriorated due to injuries and he bottomed out in 2020-21 with just 22 points in 52 games and a plus/minus of -18.  

To make matters worse, the deal that seemed so one-sided in favour of the Sharks at the time is turning around for the Senators, Joshua Norris and Tim Stützle were not on the radar in 2018 but are now integral players in Ottawa. 

This season, the smooth-skating Swede is on pace to smash all of his personal bests. His plus/minus is respectable for the amount of ice-time he gets with a struggling team. The game is better with a healthy Erik Karlsson in it. 

Honourable mention: Josh Morrissey is enjoying a breakout season with the Winnipeg Jets. Picked 13th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. The Prince Albert Raiders product has already surpassed his personal bests with half a season to go. Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres has taken his game to another level this season, averaging better than a point per game.

Linus Ullmark: Embed from Getty Images

Vezina Trophy – Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins 

Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins is putting up video game-type numbers this season. He leads the league in goals-against average and save percentage by a wide margin. The big Swede would have a bigger lead in wins if he didn’t start out sharing the crease with Jeremy Swayman, who appeared to be the goalie of the future last season. 

Honourable mention: In any other season, Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets would be the favourite. His numbers are better this year than they were during the 2019-20 campaign when he won the award.  

Calder Trophy – Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights 

Goaltender Logan Thompson of the Vegas Golden Knights was undrafted after his junior career with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. Then, he played university hockey at Brock and before giving the ECHL a try. After two seasons in the AHL, the 24-year-old is in the NHL to stay. 

Thompson became the first rookie goalie to be named to the NHL All-Star Game since John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks in 2016. The Calgary native has the Golden Knights in a battle for first place in the surprisingly tough Pacific Division. 

Honourable mention: Matthew Beniers of the Seattle Kraken has had great success with the second-year franchise. The Michigan product was drafted second overall in 2021 and seems destined to become the franchise’s first homegrown star.         

Jack Adams Award – Lindy Ruff, New Jersey Devils 

Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils has done a masterful job of turning the franchise around in short order. Last season, the Devils recorded 27 wins and a horrific goal differential of –59. This season, they have surpassed their win total already and the goal differential is among the league leaders. 

Ruff, who won the Jack Adams Award with the Buffalo Sabres in 2005-06, actually heard chants of ‘Fire Lindy’ early in the season when the team got off to a rough start. That turned into ‘Sorry Lindy’ as the Devils appear to be destined for the playoffs.    

Honourable mention: There are many good candidates and there is an aspect of six degrees of separation. It starts with Jim Montgomery of the Boston Bruins, who replaced Bruce Cassidy of the Vegas Golden Knights, who replaced Peter Deboer of the Dallas Stars, who replaced Rick Bowness of the Winnipeg Jets. Each coach has had a positive impact on their new teams.  

Many of these mid-season trophy winners are slam dunks at this point in the season. But there is plenty of hockey to be played before the real hardware is handed out. Do you agree with these picks? Which player or coach has been left out? Let us know in the comments below.  

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