Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers have been voted finalists for the 2021-22 Ted Lindsay Award, which is given “to the most outstanding player in the NHL.”
The award is voted on by members of the NHL Players’ Association. McDavid won the award last season.
From the NHLPA:
The Ted Lindsay Award is unique as the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established with the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1970-71. NHLPA members annually vote on the player they deem to be the most outstanding in the NHL regular season. Reintroduced in 2009-10 as the namesake of the late Ted Lindsay – the Ted Lindsay Award honours his legacy as a Hall of Fame forward known for skill, tenacity, leadership and his role in establishing the original Players’ Association.
The 2021-22 NHL Award winners will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final.
The case for Roman Josi: No NHL defenseman has scored like Josi, who is also a Norris Trophy finalist, during the regular season since Phil Housley in 1992-93. The Predators blue liner scored 23 goals and recorded 96 points putting him in a class with Housley, Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch, Al MacInnis, Bobby Orr, and Denis Potvin as defensemen who reached at least 96 points. Josi, who is only the third defenseman to be a TLA finalist since 2000 (Brent Burns, 2016-17, Chris Pronger, 1999-00), also had a .924 on-ice save percentage at 5-on-5, posted a 51.59 expected goals for percentage (per Natural Stat Trick), and led all defensemen with 59 even strength points. This is Josi’s first time as a TLA finalist and he could be the first defenseman to win the award since Orr in 1974-75.
The case for Auston Matthews: The 2021-22 Rocket Richard Trophy winner and Hart Trophy finalist scored a career-high 60 goals and recorded 106 points in 73 games to help Toronto to the fourth-most points (115) during the regular season. He also topped the NHL by averaging 0.82 goals per game, the highest rate for any player since Mario Lemieux’s 0.99 in 1995-96. His 60 goals was also 19.23% of the Maple Leafs’ total this season. He was also first in even strength goals (44) and fourth in expected goals for percentage (63.91), per Natural Stat Trick. Matthews was a TLA finalist a year ago and could become the first Maple Leaf and only the second American-born player (Patrick Kane, 2015-16) to win the award.
The case for Connor McDavid: A TLA win for McDavid would have him join Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky as the only players to take the award home at least four times. His 123 regular-season points helped him claim his fourth Art Ross Trophy. He did so by recording career highs in goals (44), assists (79) and points in 80 games. McDavid’s accumulation of points saw him record at least one in 63 of 80 games played and his pointless streaks never lasted more than three games. He played a role in 43.16% of the Oilers’ total goals, was top-10 in the NHL in expected goals for percentage (59.00), and finished tied for third in even strength goals (34) and EV points (77). Like Matthews, McDavid is also up for the 2021-22 Hart Trophy.
NHL Award finalists announcement schedule:
Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Cale Makar
Vezina Trophy: Jacob Markstrom, Juuse Saros, Igor Shesterkin
Calder Trophy: Michael Bunting, Moritz Seider, Trevor Zegras
Hart Trophy: Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Igor Shesterkin
Monday, May 16: Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Tuesday, May 17: Frank J. Selke Trophy
Wednesday, May 18: Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Thursday, May 19: Jack Adams Award
Friday, May 20: King Clancy Memorial Trophy