theScore’s picks for the 2023-2024 NHL Awards

Somehow, we’ve already reached the end of the regular season, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs still just a few hours away. That shocking fact means it’s time to look back at the 82-game slate and pick who we think should win the NHL’s six major annual awards.

We’ve been ranking four (Hart, Norris, Vezina, and Calder) each month, so like last year, the votes of the editors responsible for these awards are worth double the standard amount. We have indicated these editors in the graphs with asterisks.

In addition to the expert votes, the regular points system applies. That’s three points for the first, two for the second and one for the third. Also keep in mind that these are not actual award votes, which would be submitted to the PHWA. We simply created our own hypothetical ballots for this exercise.

This is how our crew voted:

Jack Adams Award

Jeff Vinnick/National Hockey League/Getty
Place Head coach Voting points
1 Rik Tocchet 16
2 Andreas Brunette 12
T3 Kris Knoblauch 3
T3 Jim Montgomery 3
T5 Peter deBoer 1
T5 Peter Laviolette 1
Editor 1st 2nd 3rd
Kusman Brunette Tocchet The farmer
Dickson Tocchet Brunette Button launch
Douglas Tocchet Button launch Brunette
Goldsmith Brunette Tocchet Montgomery
O’Leary Tocchet Brunette Laviolet
Wegman Tocchet Montgomery Brunette

Tocchet deserves credit for surprisingly leading his Vancouver Canucks to the Pacific Division title some 16 months after replacing the fired Bruce Boudreau. He inherited a talented squad, but it still far exceeded expectations in his first full season behind Vancouver’s bench.

Brunette has less to work with on the Nashville Predators, so it’s no wonder he almost matched Tocchet in our vote. Brunette and general manager Barry Trotz famously banned their players from seeing U2 at The Sphere during a February stop in Las Vegas. Nashville then went 14-0-2 in 16 games and completely turned the season around.

Knoblauch resurrected the Edmonton Oilers when he took over in mid-November (although he also inherited a good team with two of the best players in the league). Montgomery – the reigning winner of this award – kept the Patrice Bergeron-less Boston Bruins competitive.

Selke Trophy

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
Place Player Voting points
1 Aleksander Barkov 18
2 Auston Matthews 7
T3 Call Hintz 3
T3 Nick Suzuki 3
T5 Anze Kopitar 2
5 Jordaan Staal 2
6 Sam Reinhart 1
Editor 1st 2nd 3rd
Kusman Barkov Matthew Suzuki
Dickson Barkov Suzuki Reinhart
Douglas Barkov Kopitar Tip
Goldsmith Barkov Matthew Tip
O’Leary Barkov J. Steel Matthew
Wegman Barkov Matthew Tip

Barkov wins unanimously here in what would be his second Selke triumph in the past four seasons. The Florida Panthers captain is always in the conversation about this honor, as he has been one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL for nearly a decade.

Matthews’ defensive play has improved dramatically in recent seasons, and only Evgeni Malkin had more takeaways than the Toronto Maple Leafs sniper among NHL skaters in 2023-2024. Matthews has never been a Selke finalist, but he deserves it this time.

Hintz, Suzuki, Kopitar, Staal and Reinhart round out our downballot votes, and a case can be made for one of them to finish third. Each forward has shown defensive prowess while contributing in varying degrees offensively.

Calder Trophy

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images Sports/Getty
Place Player Voting points
1 Connor Bedard 20
2 Brock Faber 12
3 Lucas Hughes 7
Editor 1st 2nd 3rd
Kusman Beard Faber L Hughes
Dickson Beard Faber L Hughes
Douglas* Beard Faber L Hughes
Goldsmith Beard Faber L Hughes
O’Leary Beard Faber L Hughes
Wegman Faber Beard L Hughes

This might have been unanimous had Bedard not missed fourteen games with a broken jaw, but Faber deserves credit for playing with broken ribs over the last two months. However, it’s hard to argue that Bedard isn’t worthy of claiming the Calder. Despite missing time, the Chicago Blackhawks phenom still led all rookies in goals (22), assists (39) and points (61).

It’s also impressive that Faber and Hughes finished second in the league in points (47), considering they are defensemen, and the Minnesota Wild blue-liner logged nearly 25 minutes per game (24:58), making him the best of all novice skaters. The New Jersey Devils rearguard helped his team’s power play at quarterback, logging more than 21 minutes per game.

Norris Trophy

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
Place Player Voting points
1 Quinn Hughes 21
2 Roman Josi 12
3 Bald Makar 6
T4 Evan Bouchard 1
T4 Adam Fox 1
T4 Miro Heiskanen 1
Editor 1st 2nd 3rd
Kusman Q Hughes Josi Fox
Dickson Q Hughes Makar Bouchard
Douglas Q Hughes Josi Makar
Goldsmith Q Hughes Josi Makar
O’Leary Q Hughes Josi Heiskanen
Wegman* Q Hughes Josi Makar

Luke’s brother, Quinn, had a season that deservedly earned him first place here. The Canucks defenseman led all NHLers at the position in assists (75), points (92) and even-strength points (54), while ranking 10th among the league’s skaters in average ice time (24:41 ).

Josi topped all blueliners in goals (23) and shots on goal (268) and ranked third in points (85). That’s a commendable campaign for a player who turns 34 on June 1, especially since his analytical numbers were also favorable.

Makar – who, like Josi, has won the Norris before – had a very good 2023-2024 season, even by his high standards. Considering the dominance of his two aforementioned counterparts, it feels good that our team has jointly ranked Makar third.

Vezina Trophy

Darcy Finley/National Hockey League/Getty
Place Player Voting points
1 Connor Hellebuyck 21
2 Thatcher Demko 13
3 Sergei Bobrovsky 7
4 Jacob Markstrom 1
Editor 1st 2nd 3rd
Kusman Hellebuyck Demko Markstrom
Dickson Hellebuyck Demko Bobrovsky
Douglas Hellebuyck Demko Bobrovsky
Goldsmith Hellebuyck Demko Bobrovsky
O’Leary* Hellebuyck Demko Bobrovsky
Wegman Hellebuyck Bobrovsky Demko

Everyone in our crew agrees on this, and for good reason. Hellebuyck is a lock to be a finalist for the fourth time in his career and should take home the hardware for the second time after his 2019-20 win. The Winnipeg Jets goaltender led all NHL netminders who played at least 28 games in save percentage (.921), while ranking third in games played (60) and second in wins (37).

Hellebuyck also led the league by wide margins in goals saved above expectations (32.81) and goals saved above average (29.77) at five-on-five. Demko finished second to the Jets goalie among qualified netminders in save percentage (.918) with just two fewer wins while playing nine fewer games.

Bobrovsky showed little sign of decline at the age of 35, winning 36 matches in 58 appearances. He posted a .915 save percentage and tied the league lead with six shutouts.

Heart Trophy

Ashley Potts/National Hockey League/Getty
Place Player Voting points
1 Nathan Mackinnon 20
2 Auston Matthews 12
3 Connor McDavid 7
4 Nikita Kucherov 3
Editor 1st 2nd 3rd
Kusman Mackinnon Matthew McDavid
Dickson Mackinnon Matthew Kucherov
Douglas Mackinnon Kucherov McDavid
Goldsmith* Mackinnon Matthew McDavid
O’Leary Mackinnon McDavid Matthew
Wegman Matthew Mackinnon McDavid

MacKinnon has fallen short numerous times in recent MVP races, but he has made it abundantly clear that this should be his year. The Colorado Avalanche superstar led all NHL skaters in standings this season, points above replacement, wins above replacement and goals above replacement. His expected goals and percentage scores were fantastic, and his conventional stats were sublime.

Matthews didn’t top 70 goals, but his 69 goals were the most by an NHLer since Mario Lemieux scored the same number in 1995-96. Given his exceptional offensive performance and his success on the defensive end, the American center would be a worthy second to Hart.

McDavid managed 100 assists in 2023-24 despite missing six games, and Kucherov did the same. The Tampa Bay Lightning winger led the NHL with 144 points, but he collected 53 of those on the power play, and his above-replacement numbers weren’t as strong as those of his three competitors here. Matthews and McDavid rank second and third respectively in all three (SPAR, WAR and GAR), illustrating their all-around elite play.

(Analytics sources: Natural Stat Trick, Evolving Hockey)