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Diving into Ryan Pike’s 2023-24 PHWA awards ballot

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Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
26 days ago
The 2023-24 season was my sixth as a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the third time I was selected as a voter in the annual season-end awards. In the interest of transparency, our organization posts breakdowns of everybody’s votes for each award on the PHWA website, but 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. Oliver Kylington [Calgary]
2. Connor Ingram [Arizona]
3. Frederik Andersen [Carolina]
Winner: Connor Ingram
Unlike the other 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 all members are eligible to vote.
The Masterton is a really tough award to vote on, because there are no undeserving nominees. Everybody has a great perseverance story. For me, it came down to Kylington’s battle back to the NHL after nearly two years away, but Ingram is an extremely well-deserving winner.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Presented annually “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
1. Aleksander Barkov [Florida]
2. Roope Hintz [Dallas]
3. Auston Matthews [Toronto]
4. Sidney Crosby [Pittburgh]
5. Jordan Staal [Carolina]
Winner: Aleksander Barkov
With Patrice Bergeron retiring, we may be entering a period of Barkov dominance over the Selke. I looked at player usage, defensive and offensive metrics, and each player’s role when making my ballot. I was a bit impressed – and surprised – at how well Matthews’ numbers held up against some of the traditional Selke studs.
Regardless, it was Barkov and then a bunch of guys chasing him in my mind.

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. Jaccob Slavin [Carolina]
2. Brayden Point [Tampa Bay]
3. Elias Pettersson [Vancouver]
4. Esa Lindell [Dallas]
5. Gustav Nyquist [Nashville]
Winner: Jaccob Slavin
For me, the Lady Byng is about playing a lot against really good players… and managing to avoid taking penalties. I had a couple blueliners in this group, because I don’t know how you defend against the league’s best without taking the usual mix of hooking, holding and cross-checking penalties. In that respect, Slavin is the league’s best.

Calder Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.”
1. Connor Bedard [Chicago]
2. Brock Faber [Minnesota]
3. Luke Hughes [New Jersey]
4. Pyotr Kochetkov [Carolina]
5. Connor Zary [Calgary]
Winner: Connor Bedard
For me, there was a bit of a gap between Bedard and Faber and everybody else. Bedard was a huge difference-maker for Chicago when he was fully healthy, and that was the big difference for me.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
1. Quinn Hughes [Vancouver]
2. Roman Josi [Nashville]
3. Cale Makar [Colorado]
4. Noah Dobson [NY Islanders]
5. Evan Bouchard [Edmonton]
Winner: Quinn Hughes
In 2023-24, it was Hughes’ world and we were all just living in it. He was flat-out excellent and was easily my first choice. In terms of Bouchard sneaking onto my ballot, I would liken it to what Erik Karlsson did – he’s so good offensively that his defensive foibles didn’t really factor into things.

Hart Memorial Trophy

Presented annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”
1. Nathan MacKinnon [Colorado]
2. Nikita Kucherov [Tampa Bay]
3. Auston Matthews [Toronto]
4. Connor McDavid [Edmonton]
5. Quinn Hughes [Vancouver]
Winner: Nathan MacKinnon
This was tight between MacKinnon and Kucherov, but MacKinnon’s even-strength play was what tipped the scales for me.

NHL All-Rookie Team

My All-Rookie choices mirrored my Calder votes, with the addition of Logan Cooley in the forward group.
Forward
1. Connor Bedard [Chicago]
2. Connor Zary [Calgary]
3. Logan Cooley [Arizona]
Winners: Connor Bedard, Logan Cooley & Marco Rossi
Defense
1. Brock Faber [Minnesota]
2. Luke Hughes [New Jersey]
Winners: Brock Faber & Luke Hughes
Goaltender
1. Pyotr Kochetkov [Carolina]
Winner: Pyotr Kochetkov

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. Nathan MacKinnon [Colorado]
2. Connor McDavid [Edmonton]
3. Auston Matthews [Toronto]
First-Team Winner: Nathan MacKinnon
Second-Team Winner: Connor McDavid
Right Wing
1. Nikita Kucherov [Tampa Bay]
2. David Pastrnak [Boston]
3. Mikko Rantanen [Colorado]
First-Team Winner: Nikita Kucherov
Second-Team Winner: David Pastrnak
Left Wing
1. Artemi Panarin [NY Rangers]
2. Kirill Kaprizov [Minnesota]
3. Filip Forsberg [Nashville]
First-Team Winner: Artemi Panarin
Second-Team Winner: Filip Forsberg
Defense
1. Quinn Hughes [Vancouver]
2. Roman Josi [Nashville]
3. Cale Makar [Colorado]
4. Noah Dobson [NY Islanders]
5. Evan Bouchard [Edmonton]
6. Victor Hedman [Tampa Bay]
First-Team Winners: Quinn Hughes & Roman Josi
Second-Team Winners: Cale Makar & Adam Fox
Goaltender
1. Connor Hellebuyck [Winnipeg]
2. Thatcher Demko [Vancouver]
3. Sergei Bobrovsky [Florida]
First-Team Winner: Connor Hellebuyck
Second-Team Winner: Thatcher Demko
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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