Like most of us Mark Scheifele misses hockey. The Winnipeg Jets star can’t play any hockey these days due to arena shutdowns and the NHL’s COVID-19 pause. Hell… he can’t even watch hockey as he says it only serves to anger him because he can’t play hockey.
But, you know what he can do? He can write about hockey.
And that’s exactly what he did when The Players Tribune came calling and asked him for his NHL Awards picks. But, never one to mail it in, Scheifele went into considerable depth with his picks for the Calder Trophy, Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy.
Check out Scheifele’s picks below and scroll further below for a link to the full article from The Players’ Tribune:
Calder Memorial Trophy - Rookie of the year
Right now, it looks like it’s going to come down to Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. I agree with that. Dominik Kubalík is having a great year in Chicago, but Makar and Hughes are pretty special.
I think both Makar and Hughes are going to have outstanding careers. They’re part of a new wave of D-men who, even though I’m not that much older than them, are a lot different from those who have come before.
It’s close, but for me it goes to Hughes. He’s just been *that* much more creative, and also done more to help his team.
Hart Memorial Trophy - NHL’s most valuable player
Alright, first and foremost we’ve got to understand what the Hart means to me. It is, as defined, awarded to “the player judged to be the most valuable to his team.” Personally, if I had a vote, I’d follow those instructions.
Look, I play in the Western Conference. I know — *I know*— how good Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are. They are incredible and just unplayable during some shifts. Leon is probably the smartest player in the game. Connor … well, everyone knows him. And guys like Nathan MacKinnon and David Pastrnak deserve some praise as well, absolutely.
But… the most valuable player to his team? Jack Eichel.
He’s 23 years old, he’s got 337 points in 354 games and, believe me, he gets the toughest assignments every night. Whenever we play Buffalo, he’s the first guy we look to try to nullify. He’s a monster in the offensive end and an absolute pain to play against when you’re trying to score. He can do it all. He’s one of the most complete forwards in the game. And he doesn’t take a shift off. I’ve been watching a lot of the Sabres this year whenever I get the time because of how dominant he is when he’s on the ice. Every time he steps out there he seems like he’s just got another gear over everyone else. To do that night in and night out? That’s impressive.
Vezina Trophy - NHL’s best goaltender
This isn’t me being biased for my teammate. Trust me. I’m giving it to you straight. And the truth is, Connor Hellebuyck deserves the Vezina.
He came into the league a few years ago, and has worked so hard to get his game to this level. It’s not easy to be a goalie in a Canadian market — everyone is a goalie coach any time there’s a new guy in town. But Helle’s work ethic is unmatched by any player I’ve ever seen. The time he spends in the video room, in the gym — he’s relentless.
I don’t know the specific mechanics that make him great, but his hockey IQ is really incredible. I think he has a database in his head for every shooter in the league, because he’s hands down the best shot-stopper out there. Our team wouldn’t have won as many games as we did this year without his play.
For the full article, click below: