Members of the NHLPA vote for who gets the award for that season. The winner will be announced either during the Conference Finals or Stanley Cup Finals.
So, with that said, here is a closer at each of the Ted Lindsay Award finalists.
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
Draisaitl is one of the league’s best centers. He led the league in points with 110 (43 goals, 67 assists). Draisaitl also leads the league in points per game averaging 1.55 points, assists, 44 power-play points and ice time per game (22:37). The center also tied with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak with 10 game-winning goals and came in second in both even-strength points with 66 and power-play goals, scoring 16. Draisaitl had 33 multipoint games with at least one point in 56 of 71 games. “It’s always an honor to be recognized in that way around the league, around the players,” Draisaitl said. “It’s exciting, I think, for all three of us. We all worked extremely hard becoming the players that we are today.”
Oilers head coach Dave Tippett commends Draisaitl about his impact on the team. “He helps players around him that he’s playing with and he’s obviously an outstanding player in his own right,” Tippett said. “I think our players are very happy to see he was nominated for the Lindsay award.” The Oilers were 24-5-2 every time Draisaitl scored this season and 13-20-7 every time he didn’t.
The No. 5 Edmonton Oilers will face the No. 12 seed Chicago Blackhawks during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Their first matchup is on Aug. 1.
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon is among one of the fastest players in the league. He placed fifth in points with 93 (35 goals, 58 assists) and third in even-strength points with 62. The Avalanche center recorded 29 multipoint games with points in 53 of 69 games. In addition, the Avalanche center was plus-13 propelling the Aves to the second-best record in the Western conference (44-20-8). “The award is a one year thing but I think a body of work is a little bit required to get the respect of your peers and [Draisaitl and Panarin] have been so dominant for so long,” MacKinnon said. “Obviously it’s a tough league and the way these guys produce every year and every night is very special. For either one of these guys to win the award would be very deserving.”
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar says that he would vote for MacKinnon for both the Ted Lindsay Award and Hart Trophy. “I think he’ll get a lot of votes for that and hopefully he’s able to win both those awards,” Bednar said. Bednar credits MacKinnon for finding ways to produce wins by playing with his linemates and “everyone in-between”.
The Avalanche are one of four round-robin teams in the Western Conference. They are set to play the Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars and the defending champions St. Louis Blues.
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers
Panarin signed a seven-year contract with the Rangers on July 1, 2019. In his first season with the Rangers, the left-wing forward tied Pastrnak for third in points with 95 (32 goals, 63 assists). The Rangers forward also ranked first in even-strength points with 71 and in plus/minus among forwards with a plus-36. Panarin’s nickname is “The Breadman” for a reason. He’s had at least one point in 54 games including 28 multipoint games. In other words, Panarin knows how to score goals on an efficient basis.
“I’m obviously very happy to be here and I’m very happy that guys voted for me to be here,” Panarin said. “I always play or try to play 100 percent and often can’t play better than I’m trying to play.” The No.11 seed Rangers are set to play the No. 6 seed Carolina Hurricanes in the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov was last year’s Ted Lindsay Award winner.
The 2020 NHL Awards was scheduled to happen on June 25 in Las Vegas. However, it got postponed on March 25 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic