This evening, Oilers head coach Todd McLellan was named a finalist for Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year.
The other nominations were Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella.
It took only two years for the coach to nearly turn the Oilers franchise around. In his first season with the team in 2015-2016, he led the Oilers to a 31-43-8 record for 70 points – good enough for 7th in the Pacific Division.
This year has seen great success as the Oilers finished the year with a 47-26-9 record for 103 points.
A 33 point difference was enough for the Oilers to reach the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
McLellan is certainly in tough against Babcock and Tortorella. Both of them were critical in the turn around of the Leafs and Blue Jackets respectively.
The race will be an interesting one as all three coaches impacted their respective teams with big turnover in their second years.
Much like McLellan did with the Oilers, Torts took the Blue Jackets from being a 76-point team last year to a 108 point team this year.
Tortorella’s Blue Jackets were eliminated in five games in the first round of the playoffs this season against the Penguins.
Babcock took the Leafs from being a 69 point team last year, to a 95 point team this year.
Like the Blue Jackets, the Leafs got eliminated in the first round of this years playoffs. The Caps downed the Leafs in six games.
The NHL Awards takes place on June 21st, 2017 and the winner will be announced then.