The 2023 NHL Awards were virtually a one-man show, with Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid winning his third career Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. McDavid’s dazzling performance in the 2022-23 season also earned him the Ted Lindsay Award, the Maurice Richard Trophy, and the Art Ross Trophy, placing him among the NHL’s legendary players.
A Spectacular Season for McDavid
This season, Connor McDavid’s prize haul was nothing short of remarkable. McDavid’s triumph for the Hart Memorial Trophy was overwhelming, with 195 out of 196 first-place votes, outweighing challengers like Boston Bruins’ David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk. This was his third time as the NHL’s most valuable player, following his successes in 2016-17 and 2020-21.
McDavid’s individual accomplishments included receiving the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given to the most outstanding player as voted on by his peers. This honour recognises his exceptional skill and competitiveness on the rink. McDavid also won the Maurice Richard Trophy for his league-leading 64 goals and the Art Ross Trophy for his NHL-best 153 points, the most since Mario Lemieux’s 161-point season in 1995-96. His outstanding performance aided the Oilers to a 50-win season and a fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
Other Notable Winners of the Night
While McDavid was the star of the show, other players and teams had their share of the limelight at the NHL Awards. Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks bagged the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman after scoring over 100 points in the season, a feat done by only five other blue-liners in NHL history.
The Boston Bruins won the Vezina Trophy following an incredible 65-win season, with Linus Ullmark named the season’s finest goaltender. Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins’ captain, won the Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward for the sixth time. The Bruins also set new NHL regular-season marks with 65 victories and 135 points.
Recognizing Rising Stars and Seasoned Veterans
The 2023 NHL Awards also celebrated the league’s rising stars and seasoned veterans. Matty Beniers of the Seattle Kraken, the second overall pick in the 2022 draft, won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. He led all rookies with 57 points, contributing significantly to the Kraken’s first playoff appearance.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Kings centre Anze Kopitar won the Lady Byng Trophy for the second time as the NHL’s most gentlemanly player, and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, recognising his perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Aspiring for the Stanley Cup
Despite the plethora of individual honours, the Stanley Cup remains the elusive trophy that McDavid, like many other NHL players, strives for. Following the Oilers’ loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Second Round, the desire for the Stanley Cup has grown even stronger. On a night like the NHL Awards, though, McDavid and the other winners took the time to appreciate their particular skills, performance, and contribution to the game.