Recapping the 2023 NHL Awards

On Monday evening, the NHL held its annual awards ceremony in Nashville, celebrating the best and most admirable players of the past season. The 2022–23 season featured a number of modern day records and statistics not seen in upwards of three decades, leading way to some obvious choices for major awards.

With a few members of the Edmonton Oilers nominated for awards, have any of them taken home some hardware for the offseason? Here’s a quick recap of the 2023 NHL Awards.

Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The Ted Lindsay Award is given to the player voted most outstanding by his peers in the NHLPA. It is often considered the highest honour amongst the players, as it is voted on by fellow players.

Connor McDavid was given this honour in the 2022–23 season, taking home this award for the fourth time in his career. He becomes the third player in NHL history to accomplish this feat, joining Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Lady Byng Trophy: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the player judged to have the highest standard of play while excelling as a gentlemanly and sporting fixture on the ice.

This years winner, Anze Kopitar, takes home his second Lady Byng Trophy. This season, he had just four penalty minutes in 82 games played. He is the second player in NHL history to finish a season with that stat line. On top of that, he led the Los Angeles Kings in scoring with 74 points.

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Anze Kopitar

Mark Messier Leadership Award: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

The Mark Messier Leadership Award is given out to the player who best exemplifies what it means to be a leader on and off the ice.

Steven Stamkos was awarded this trophy for the 2022–23 season for his part and dedication to the game as he has been captain of one of the most successful teams in the post-lockout era.

E.J. McQuire Award of Excellence: Connor Bedard

The E.J. McQuire Award of Excellence is given out to the prospect who best exemplifies the qualities of competitiveness, character, and athleticism as determined by NHL Central Scouting.

For the 2023 NHL Awards, highly anticipated and presumed first-overall pick Connor Bedard was given this award. If he goes first overall in the 2023 NHL Draft, he will become the second player to receive both this award and then be picked first in the subsequent draft.

Calder Trophy: Matthew Beniers, Seattle Kraken

The Calder Memorial Trophy is awarded to the rookie deemed most outstanding of the season. Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner was nominated for the award this season, looking to become the first Edmonton Oiler to win the Calder. He has a strong showing in the latter months of the season which had some hoping for recency bias to play a factor amongst the voters. But alas, it was not meant to be.

Matthew Beniers won the Calder Trophy for the 2022–23 season for his outstanding performance in his first season. He led rookies in scoring with 57 points in 80 games. He had just two penalty minutes all season long. And, the defensive side of the game that is less quantifiable, Beniers showed incredible talent and promise in.

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Matthew Beniers

Frank J. Selke Award: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

The Frank J. Selke Award is given to the forward judged to be best at the defensive side of the game. 

For a record-setting (and extending) sixth time in his career, Patrice Bergeron takes home this award. He had one of the best two-way seasons of his career, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest of all time. He takes on all the toughest matchups while still putting up incredible advanced stats and is no slack offensively, with 58 points on the season in 2022–23.

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Patrice Bergeron

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

The Bill Masterton Trophy is awarded to the player who best shows the qualities of perseverance, dedication, and sportsmanship. It is not an award that players want to win, as it often represents significant hardship that has been experienced.

Kris Letang was given this award for the 2022–23 season. In late November, he suffered a stroke, the second of his career. It was not deemed career-threatening and he returned to the ice less than two weeks later. In January, Letang’s father passed away and he stepped away from the team for a period in which the entire Pittsburgh Penguins team flew out to attend the funeral and support their teammate.

Vezina Trophy: Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins

The Vezina Trophy is awarded annually to the best goaltender in the NHL over the course of the season.

For 2022–23, Linus Ullmark has won this award for his part in an outstanding regular season by the Boston Bruins. He put up a 40–6–1 record, a league leading .938 SV% and 1.89 GAA, and finished second in the league with 42.4 goals saved above expected, according to Moneypuck.

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Linus Ullmark

King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Mikael Backlund, Calgary Flames

The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice while making significant and meaningful contributions to their community around them.

Darnell Nurse was nominated as a finalist for this trophy but was not the recipient.

Mikael Backlund was given this award for the 2022–23 season to recognize his amazing contributions to and work for various charities.

Willy O’Ree Community Hero Award: Jason McCrimmon

The Willy O’Ree Community Hero Award is given out to a person who makes a significant contribution to their community, culture, and society through the sport of hockey.

Jason McCrimmon, a coach and mentor in the Detroit area, was given the award for 2023 for his outstanding work with youth in his community. Through various hockey programs, coaching, and mentoring, Jason has made an impact on countless kids and families with his work.

Jack Adams Award: Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins

The Jack Adams Award is given to the coach voted to have the most impact on his team through the season.

For their significant improvement year-over-year, combined with his team having the best regular season in NHL history, Jim Montgomery has won this award for the 2022–23 season. His Bruins finished with a 65–12–5 record, scoring 305 goals (second in the league) and only gave up 177 (least in the league).

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Jim Montgomery

Norris Memorial Trophy: Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks

The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded to the defender who demonstrates the highest proficiency in all areas of the game.

For the third time in his career, Erik Karlsson has won the Norris Trophy. It is his first since 2014–15. And his incredible bounceback season in 2022–23 is well-deserving of this award. He became just the sixth defender in NHL history to record 100 points in a single season. And although he may not be a shut-down defender, his overall impact and playing defence by playing offence shows how he can thrive as an all-around defender.

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Erik Karlsson

Hart Memorial Trophy: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The ultimate award of the show, the Hart Memorial Trophy, is awarded to the player deemed to be most valuable to his team’s success over the regular season.

For the third time in his career, McDavid has taken home this award. To go along with his fourth Ted Lindsay, his first Rocket Richard Trophy, and fifth (and third consecutive) Art Ross Trophy. In an incredibly touching moment, the family of Ben Stelter came on stage to present McDavid with the trophy.

McDavid was by far the most impactful player on the ice this season and contributed an incredible amount to his team’s success. He led the league in goals (64), assists (89), and points (153). His 153 points puts him 15th all-time in most points in a single season, and he became the first player since the mid-90s to put up those types of numbers.

The Oil Rig’s Pick: Connor McDavid

Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire

Sean Laycock

Sean is a stubborn, lifelong Oilers fan who lives by the motto "There is always next year".

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