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A look into Ryan Pike’s 2022-23 PHWA awards ballot

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Photo credit:D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
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The 2022-23 season was my fifth as a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the second time I was selected as a voter in the annual awards. In the interest of transparency, our organization posts breakdowns of everybody’s votes for each award on the PHWA website, but (as was the case last year) I thought I would take the opportunity to walk everybody through my thought processes for each award.
Let’s dive in!

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
1. Kris Letang [Pittsburgh]
2. Alex Belzile [Montreal]
3. Alex Stalock [Chicago]
Winner: Kris Letang
Unlike the remainder of the awards, which only about half of the PHWA votes on, all members can vote on the Masterton. Each of the NHL’s 32 chapters nominate a player, and then the full membership votes.
This is always a tough award to determine every year, because there are 32 deserving nominees. I opted to go with Letang, who’s battled some really tough personal challenges this past season, Belzile, who scored his first career NHL goal at age 31, and Stalock, who’s battled back from missing an entire season due to COVID complications (including myocarditis).

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Presented annually “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
1. Patrice Bergeron [Boston]
2. Aleksander Barkov [Florida]
3. Nico Hischier [New Jersey]
4. Mikael Backlund [Calgary]
5. Jordan Staal [Carolina]
Winner: Patrice Bergeron
My emphasis with my voting in this award is somebody who played a lot against good players and excelled. So I looked at things like player usage charts, shot differentials and the like. Once again, Bergeron is the class of the league, but several other players had strong performances behind him.
I went back and forth on where to put Backlund. Fourth felt right.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
1. Jack Hughes [New Jersey]
2. Brayden Point [Tampa Bay]
3. Aleksander Barkov [Florida]
4. Joe Pavelski [Dallas]
5. Anze Kopitar [Los Angeles]
Winner: Anze Kopitar
My voting for this award skews towards players that played a ton against good players, scored a lot… and didn’t take too many penalties. Hughes came out just ahead of Point for me.

Calder Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.”
1. Matty Beniers [Seattle]
2. Stuart Skinner [Edmonton]
3. Matias Maccelli [Arizona]
4. Owen Power [Buffalo]
5. Noah Cates [Philadelphia]
Winner: Matty Beniers
This was a no-doubter for me, with the only real question being which player would be third behind Beniers and Skinner. (And shout-out to Cates, who was sneaky good on a Flyers team that wasn’t amazing this season.) Wyatt Johnston just missed the cut for me for fifth place.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
1. Erik Karlsson [San Jose]
2. Hampus Lindholm [Boston]
3. Vince Dunn [Seattle]
4. Rasmus Dahlin [Buffalo]
5. Josh Morrissey [Winnipeg]
Winner: Erik Karlsson
So here’s my thing: the Norris is for “greatest all-around ability.” Karlsson isn’t a great defensive blueliner, but he was so good at the offensive side of the game in 2022-23 that he lapped the field. But give some love to Lindholm and Dunn, who both had some really strong seasons.
Quinn Hughes just missed the cut for me, getting edged by Morrissey for the fifth spot. Adam Fox was also just off the board. It was a toss-up between those three for the last spot. Again: it’s all-around ability at the position, and unless you’re going crazy offensively like Karlsson did this season, you need to show all-around ability.
(Norris was easily the toughest category, and if you gave me 10 spots on my ballot, I’d still have agonized about it.)

Hart Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”
1. Connor McDavid [Edmonton]
2. David Pastrnak [Boston]
3. Nathan MacKinnon [Colorado]
4. Jason Robertson [Dallas]
5. Matthew Tkachuk [Florida]
Winner: Connor McDavid
Like with a bunch of these awards, the question was who’s behind the eventual winner. This one was fairly straight-forward, though. It’s a bit of a shame that Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are on McDavid’s team, because how much credit can you get for being valuable when you’re on the same roster as him?

NHL All-Rookie Team

My All-Rookie choices mirrored my Calder votes, with the addition of Calen Addison on the blueline.
Forward
1. Matty Beniers [Seattle]
2. Matias Maccelli [Arizona]
3. Noah Cates [Philadelphia]
Winners: Matty Beniers, Wyatt Johnston & Matias Maccelli
Defense
1. Owen Power [Buffalo]
2. Calen Addison [Minnesota]
Winners: Owen Power & Jake Sanderson
Goaltender
1. Stuart Skinner [Edmonton]
Winner: Stuart Skinner

NHL All-Star Team

Reminder: the Hart Trophy is for “most valuable.” The All-Star votes are for “best” at each position. Like with the All-Rookie ballots, aside from the centres, these votes mostly mirror my Hart and Norris votes.
Centre
1. Connor McDavid [Edmonton]
2. Leon Draisaitl [Edmonton]
3. Nathan MacKinnon [Colorado]
First-Team Winner: Connor McDavid
Second-Team Winner: Leon Draisaitl
Right Wing
1. David Pastrnak [Boston]
2. Matthew Tkachuk [Florida]
3. Nikita Kucherov [Tampa Bay]
First-Team Winner: David Pastrnak
Second-Team Winner: Matthew Tkachuk
Left Wing
1. Jason Robertson [Dallas]
2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins [Edmonton]
3. Artemi Panarin [NY Rangers]
First-Team Winner: Jason Robertson
Second-Team Winner: Artem Panarin
Defense
1. Erik Karlsson [San Jose]
2. Hampus Lindholm [Boston]
3. Vince Dunn [Seattle]
4. Rasmus Dahlin [Buffalo]
5. Josh Morrissey [Winnipeg]
6. Quinn Hughes [Vancouver]
First-Team Winners: Erik Karlsson & Adam Fox
Second-Team Winners: Hampus Lindholm & Cale Makar
Goaltender
1. Linus Ullmark [Boston]
2. Ilya Sorokin [NY Islanders]
3. Jake Oettinger [Dallas]
First-Team Winner: Linus Ullmark
Second-Team Winner: Ilya Sorokin
As always, it was really interesting to see how my votes diverged from the other voting members. It goes to show you, we all see the game a little bit differently.
Where did you agree with Ryan’s votes? Where do you think Ryan was completely off his rocker? Let us know in the comments!
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