Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com.
• With the draft just over a day away, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek breaks down his mock draft. Where will the Habs go at number three? (Sportsnet)
• You can compare Marek’s mock draft to McKeen’s lead prospect writer Ryan Wagman’s mock draft. Both Marek and Wagman have the same top three prospects, but things change starting at number four. (Rotoworld)
• Hall of Famer Bob Gainey was named adviser of the OHL Peterborough. That’s where Gainey spent two years of his junior career back in the 1970s. (NHL.com)
• One of the reasons the Sabres have been so bad for so long, is because they’ve struggled to find steals in the later rounds of drafts. (Buffalo Hockey Beat)
• If the Canucks keep the seventh overall pick, should they take Noah Dobson or Evan Bouchard? Canucks Army explains why they’d take Dobson. (Canucks Army)
• The Golden Knights have become the envy of the NHL because they’re one of the better teams in the league and because they have a lot of cap space. (SinBin.Vegas)
• What should Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli be looking to accomplish in the next three days? Well, he can start by drafting a solid player at 10th overall and he can try to sign Darnell Nurse to a bridge deal. (Oilers Nation)
• Up top, check out the moment when Taylor Hall found out he won the Hart Trophy.
• And if you missed it, you’re going to want to see the Humboldt Broncos reunion at the NHL Awards:
Let’s recap the remaining winners from the 2018 NHL Awards. Before we do so, here are the other big winners and corresponding links.
Now, let’s jump into the remaining awards and honors.
Mark Messier Leadership Award
Deryk Engelland (see video above this post’s headline)
Daniel and Henrik Sedin
Of course, Alex Ovechkin won the Maurice Richard Trophy and Connor McDavid took the Art Ross.
First NHL All-Star Team
Second NHL All-Star Team
Ten members of the Humboldt Broncos reunited on Wednesday night during the 2018 NHL Awards in Las Vegas. The survivors of the April 6 bus crash that killed 16 players and staff were on stage to help give out the first Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award to their late head coach Darcy Haugan.
The award, presented “to an individual who – through the game of hockey – has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society,” was voted on by the public after fans submitted candidates, and the field was then narrowed down to three finalists.
From the NHL:
Haugan left a lasting impact in Humboldt, Sask., as well as every other community that was fortunate enough to have him as a resident or involved in junior hockey. He changed the lives of many of his players, always being there for each one of them and never hesitating to give them a second chance. He fought for his team and had their backs – he was the coach and mentor everybody wanted. Haugan believed strongly that the game is not about making hockey players; it is about making amazing human beings. He did just that, building up young leaders who also developed strong hockey skills along the way. His presence would fill the room and his love for the game was undeniable. Haugan died doing what he loved, surrounded by the young people he dedicated his life to. Haugan left behind, in all of those he touched, his spirit and passion for the game, his love for his beautiful family, and his example of dedication to his community.
Haugan’s wife, Christina, accepted the award in his honor.
The other finalists were Debbie Bland of the Etobicoke Dolphins Girls Hockey League and Neal Henderson of the Fort Dupont Hockey Club.
The NHL Foundation is donating $10,000 in Haugan’s memory to the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association, a charity important to the coach.
On Tuesday, the NHL and NHLPA announced that Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson will bring the Stanley Cup to Humboldt on Aug. 24 that will involve a skills competition at the Broncos’ home rink.
Being that Art Ross and Ted Lindsay winner Connor McDavid wasn’t even a finalist, it’s clear that being indispensable to your team factored heavily into the 2017-18 Hart Trophy voting.
With those unspoken parameters in mind, it makes sense that the MVP race ended up being so close between runner-up Nathan MacKinnon and winner Taylor Hall. Anze Kopitar ranked a distant third, but he could take comfort in being a finalist and also taking home his second Selke.
Sometimes you need to dig deep into “With or Without You” stats to realize how much a player stands above his teammates. You merely need to glance at the gap between Hall’s scoring (93 points, sixth-best in the NHL) and the next highest-ranked Devil (Nico Hischer with 52). Hall clearly dragged the Devils to an unlikely playoff berth, scoring that many points in just 76 games.
Nathan MacKinnon, meanwhile, finished with 97 points in 74 contests, yet he enjoyed a bit more help as Colorado’s top line was rounded out by fantastic wingers in Mikko Rantanen (84 points) and Gabriel Landeskog (62).
Now, the trickier part is figuring out if McDavid deserved to either win it or at least be a finalist. Ultimately, the PHWA viewed Hall as the “player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” no doubt weighing a playoff appearance in their decision:
As you might expect, the deeper voting is quite interesting. Kopitar narrowly edged Claude Giroux for third place, while there’s an interesting list of players who managed a single vote: Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Victor Hedman, and Eric Staal. Drew Doughty got a fourth place vote while Hedman receive one fifth, yet Hedman ended up the Norris winner.
During certain seasons, the Hart Trophy is an easy call. This was one of the tougher years to truly pinpoint a top season, but the beauty for hockey fans was because there were so many great choices.
However you feel about who should have been the actual winner, Taylor Hall generated an absolutely brilliant season.
For a player who was traded for flawed reasons and blamed far too often for his teams’ failings, it must be awfully sweet to receive such high recognition. It can’t hurt that this award came after his first-ever postseason appearance, either.
Naturally, Hall has his eyes on the sort of celebration that Alex Ovechkin is enjoying right now, but Hall’s 2017-18 season was “a long time coming” in its own right.
And, yes, the Oilers must weep at the thought that they voluntarily gave up an opportunity to deploy the 2018 Hart winner (Hall) and the 2018 Art Ross winner (McDavid) on the same team.