This season has more talented players in the NHL than ever. Each year it gets harder and harder to predict who is going to win the NHL awards at the end of the year. Did anyone have Taylor Hall winning the Hart Trophy last season? I sure as hell didn’t. But as daunting a task as it is we here at Blades of Teal got together and did it anyway.
We could be seeing the beginning of the greatest era of hockey ever. There are so many ridiculously talented players in this league, and even more coming up. Even guys who are in their second or third seasons like Patrick Laine and Auston Matthews are already a top the league leaders in scoring and on their way to winning a bunch of trophies throughout their career.
We are seeing guys like former number one picks Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon coming into their own as players. Last season Hall won the Hart Trophy (He was traded for Adam Larsson, never forget this!) and MacKinnon was right there with him. I personally thought MacKinnon should have won it over Hall, but Taylor Hall had such a great year seemingly out of nowhere for the New Jersey Devils that I couldn’t be mad at the decision.
It feels like MacKinnon and Hall have been in the league forever, but Hall is only 26, drafted #1 overall in 2010 and made his NHL debut the same year. Same with MacKinnon, he went number 1 in 2013 from the Halifax Mooseheads, and is only 23, but feels like these two guys are wily veterans, which, in a way they are even though their age doesn’t say so.
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No. I didn’t forget about the second coming. Thats what I call Connor McDavid. He’s the best player in the NHL. Period. End of story, and will go down as one of the best to ever lace up the skates. He’ll never break Gretzky’s records of 92 goals in a season, or 215 points in a year. That seems unfathomable in this day and age. But McDavid will be a top the league in points every year from here on out barring injury.
The NHL awards are becoming harder and harder to predict, and harder and harder to vote on even. There is so much great talent in this league, and I haven’t begun to talk about the defensemen yet.
We already know the greats. The Erik Karlsson’s, Drew Doughty, Brent Burns, Victor Hedman’s of the world. But we haven’t begun to talk about Ivan Provrov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Zach Werenski and Seth Jones (both of whom are paired on the blue line’s together!) are the next wave of great defensemen in the NHL, and don’t forget about Rasmus Dahlin and a kid named Quinn who will be the consensus #1 pick next season.
The NHL has seen such an influx of talent in the last 7 years, and there is even more coming. I’m excited to see what the NHL awards are going to look like this season and in the near future.
We, here at Blades of Teal, Lucas Burrell, David Boettcher, Michael Gutnick and myself all tried to figure out who will be a top the league at the end of this season. But I’m willing to bet there will be another Taylor Hall type, who comes out of nowhere and takes it.