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Senators Team Awards Ballot

May 23, 2021, 10:30 PM ET [30 Comments]
Michael Stuart
Ottawa Senators Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
While the NHL Awards ceremony won’t be held for a little while yet, that doesn’t need to stop us from handing out accolades to members of the Ottawa Senators. Here’s my ballot:

Hart Memorial Trophy: Brady Tkachuk
Awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team, the Hart Trophy sums up Brady Tkachuk’s contributions to the Senators this season. There’s an easy case to be made for Brady as the team’s Hart winner on the basis of him leading the squad in scoring alone, but his contributions run so much deeper than that. How many times was he the first guy in on the forecheck? How many times was he out there standing up for teammates in a scrum? At just 21 years of age, he was the “veteran presence” for so many of the rookies on this team. The impact that he made will extend beyond this season.

Calder Memorial Trophy: Josh Norris
Tim Stützle had a season in which he largely delivered on the exciting rookie promise advertised when he was selected third overall. The fact that there’s someone more deserving of the Calder Trophy as the team’s best rookie isn’t an indictment of him, but rather a ringing endorsement of how bright the future for this team is right now. In his first full NHL season, Josh Norris was excellent. With the middle of the ice being a large perceived weakness for the Senators heading into the year, Norris was asked to carry a very heavy weight on his shoulders. He managed to do that and more. Only two rookies league wide outscored him this season.

Vezina Trophy: Filip Gustavsson
Goaltending was a major weakness for the Ottawa Senators this season, but Filip Gustavsson was a bright spot, albeit in limited action. He played in nine games for the team during the year, posting a 2.16 GAA and .933 SV%. As much as the team is banking on Matt Murray to return to form in 2021-22, it’s hard not to be excited about what we saw from Gustavsson.

James Norris Memorial Trophy: Thomas
Even as Artem Zub completely solidified the middle pairing for the Senators this year, Thomas Chabot was still the team’s main horse on the blue line. Often tasked with playing absurd minutes on a team that didn’t provide him with much help, Chabot performed admirably on most nights. There were certainly times when fatigue caught up with him and he started to look a little uncomfortable with the puck, but that’s not entirely unexpected considering the circumstances he was facing.

Frank J. Selke Trophy: Nick Paul
One player who didn’t show up all that often in the “thumbs up, thumbs down” recaps this year was Nick Paul. But that’s not because he wasn’t doing his job. The fact that Paul often went about his minutes quietly and efficiently is a testament to the skills he brings to the table. His defensive contributions to this team were so, so important. When the Senators needed someone to quiet things down in the defensive zone and get things moving the other way, Paul was there. The eye test would tell you that he’s a player who does a lot of the “little things” right. The numbers would tell you that no regular Senators forward gave up fewer expected goals per 60 minutes of five-on-five ice time.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Drake Batherson
Evgenii Dadonov had the fewest penalty minutes among Senators regulars this season, but that’s got more to do with the fact that he really didn’t do… anything this season. Drake Batherson, on the other hand, delivered a powerful play-driving style night after night and managed to stay out of the box at the same time.

Unsung Hero Award: Connor Brown
What a season. There’s nothing more to say.


Let me know your Senators awards ballot in the comments section!

As always, thanks for reading.
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