This morning, the National Hockey League announced that Leon Draisaitl has been named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award along with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and New York’s Artemi Panarin.
In a year where Leon Draisaitl let the NHL with 110 points, it seems quite fitting that he would be named a Ted Lindsay Award finalist by his peers. Playing in all 71 of the Edmonton’s regular-season games, the 24-year old warlord led the NHL in assists with 67, powerplay points with 44, points per game with 1.55, and overall ice time at 22:37 per game, making him an integral part of the Oilers’ success. Not only did Draisaitl find a way to maintain the incredible pace that saw him finish the 2018-19 season with 50 goals and 105 points, but he seemingly found another gear that not many were prepared to handle.
Formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, the Ted Lindsay Award is given to the most outstanding player during the regular season as voted on by the players. With this nomination, Draisaitl is looking to become the first-ever German-born player to win the Ted Lindsay while also joining Connor McDavid, Mark Messier, and Wayne Gretzky as the only Oilers to win the award in team history. Seeing as Connor McDavid won in back-to-back seasons (2017, 2018), it’s remarkable to think that the Oilers now have two separate players that have been named finalists in three of the past four seasons.
I know a lot of us seem to focus on the Hart Trophy which is given to the league’s MVP as voted on by the PHWA, but I can’t help but feel like this is the tip of the cap that may mean the most given who gets a say in handing it out. At the moment, the Ted Lindsay Award is the only trophy that is voted on by the players themselves, and one that you’d have to believe carries a little more weight since it’s a recognition given by one’s peers. Then again, maybe that’s just me projecting my own feelings into a situation that I really have no idea about other than to offer a guess. Either way, I was pretty pumped to see that Draisaitl was named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award and I can’t help but feel as though he is certainly a worthy candidate.
According to the NHL, the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award recipient will be announced during the Conference Finals with the exact date to be named later.
So why does Leon Draisaitl deserve the Ted Lindsay Award to go along with the Art Ross Trophy he already has? Maybe watching all of his goals from this past season will help to refresh your memory.
DRAISAITL’S 2019-20 SEASON