Lady Byng Award Predictions
The NHL season is almost over and award season is right around the corner. The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is given to the player that exemplifies gentlemanliness and sportsmanship on and off the ice. Let’s take a look at five players who are the current favorites.
Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
Jaccob Slavin is the reigning Norris Trophy winner, only taking one delay of game penalty. The 27-year-old has taken 10 penalty minutes (PIMS) this season, but that does not take the incumbent winner out of the race. His 10 PIMS are the least among active defensemen while also posting a plus/minus of +32.
Slavin became the second player in Hurricanes history to win the Lady Byng last season. Ron Francis was the first back in the 2001-02 season.
Slavin is likely going to be a finalist again and the hockey world better take warning for the Hurricanes this postseason.
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers
Zibanejad and the blue shirts are gearing up for a deep playoff run. The Swedish center has 75 points (27 goals, 48 assists) and is one point away from breaking his career-high in points. Zibanejad is one of the alternate captains for the Rangers and only has 12 PIMS.
The Rangers have already clinched a playoff spot and are currently second in the Metropolitan Division.
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild.
The captain of the Wild has had an up and down year battling injuries. Spurgeon has six points in his last five games and has been a great two-way defenseman for Minnesota.
The 32-year-old blue-liner has 36 points (7 goals, 29 points) in 56 games and a plus/minus of +27. Spurgeon has 10 PIMS so far and has never taken more than 20 in his 12-year NHL career with the Wild.
The Wild are second in the Central Division with 94 points and are on the verge of going back to the playoffs.
Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets
Connor is having a career season with the Jets. He leads them with 85 points (42 goals, 43 assists) and has done a great job of staying out of the penalty box with only four PIMS. The Jets as a whole have underperformed, along with their star players.
Winnipeg is five points behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Connor can’t be the lone player producing at a high level, especially with the talent on the Jets, if Winnipeg wants to sneak into the playoffs.
Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars
The veteran forward has been excellent with the Stars. Pavelski is still one of the most respected men in the NHL and is still playing at an elite level. The 37-year-old is playing at a point-per-game pace with 73 points (27 goals, 46 assists) in 73 games.
The Stars are on the verge of going back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs sitting at the second wild-card spot with 86 points. Pavelski has taken only 14 PIMS and has a plus/minus of +12.
Prediction for finalists and winner:
1. Kyle Connor
2. Jaccob Slavin
3. Joe Pavelski
Jacob Cheris is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com
About the Contributors
Fourth-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Penn State Rivals, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players. Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.