On Tuesday, we presented our contributors’ cases for the Oilers’ award winners, but opened the process up to our commenters to make the final decisions. After the jump, Oilers Nation’s choices for the best (and most disappointing) players in Edmonton.
Most Valuable Player
Winner: Taylor Hall
Hall was the unanimous choice of Oilers Nation writers, and our commenters were clearly okay with that nearly 97 percent of voters gave him the nod as the team’s most valuable player. Devan Dubnyk, with a sliver under two percent of the vote, came in a distant second. As 21 years of age, Hall was the best, most dynamic player on the roster this year and nobody else was even close. A bonus: the ‘they should have drafted Seguin’ talk has finally quieted down.
Winner: Taylor Hall
Not really a big surprise, given the MVP voting, though strangely Hall only took 95 percent of the vote in this one. Rookie forward Nail Yakupov, with two percent, was the runner-up.
Winner: Ladislav Smid
This one split our columnists, and unsurprisingly was the most competitive race with our commenters too: Ladislav Smid took 46 percent of the vote to Jeff Petry’s 32 percent; Justin Schultz finished in third with 19 percent. Earlier in the year, the question was whether Smid, a pending unrestricted free agent, would even finish the season in Edmonton, but the team chose to sign him to a contract extensions that should keep him on the blue line for the long term.
Winner: Devan Dubnyk
Just over half (51 percent) of our voters felt Devan Dubnyk was the team’s unsung hero, while 37 percent gave the nod to Sam Gagner. It’s a nice vote of confidence from fans in both players. Dubnyk’s ability to play as the starter in Edmonton has long been questioned but it seems clear that he changed some minds this season. Gagner might be the single-most traded player on the roster on comment boards here and elsewhere, but at least his work this season didn’t go unappreciated.
Rookie of the Year
Winner: Nail Yakupov
Advertised as a two-horse race, this one turned out to be anything but. The Oilers’ most recent first overall pick took just under 93 percent of the vote – extremely impressive given that his competition, Justin Schultz, was in the running for best defenceman.
The question now is whether #Yak4Calder will become a reality.
Goat of the Year
Winner: Ryan Whitney
Perpetual favourite Eric Belanger could only muster a 28 percent showing in second place, as Ryan Whitney took 56 percent of the vote and the title of ‘Goat of the Year.’ Ben Eager, waived and cast down to the minor leagues, also cracked double digits with 12 percent of the vote.
The hope was that Whitney would be able to bounce back from injury and solidify the Oilers’ top four; instead he ended up fighting for ice-time on the third pairing, and doubtless hurt his cause here by repeatedly reminding fans that he thought he was playing well enough that he didn’t deserve the scratch. Still, it can’t be easy – particularly given that he’s still a relatively young player – to watch a career slip away to injury; here’s hoping he can reverse the trend with his next team.
Thanks to everyone for taking part! The plan is for this to be an annual event here at Oilers Nation, and with an exciting cast of young talent on the way up, Taylor Hall may even get some competition in the coming seasons. Stay tuned in the off-season; we’ve got lots planned and by the sounds of it, so does Craig MacTavish.
Don’t forget to play StreakCred, the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Only $20 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities. Sign up here.
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