Next up on NHL Awards night was the Ted Lindsay Award, a unique honor of “most outstanding player” as voted on by the players. This year’s winner is Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers. Not only was Draisaitl objectively the best player in the league this season as the Art Ross Trophy-winner with the most points in the NHL, but his peers also viewed him as the game’s best in 2019-20. Draisaitl won the award over the Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon and the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin.
Draisaitl has been on the cusp of superstardom for the past few years, but the 24-year-old sealed the deal this season with his second straight campaign with more than 100 points. Draisaitl led the NHL in points, points per game, assists, and game-winning goals in 2019-20, while also finishing in the top-five in goals and power play goals and leading all forwards in time on ice per game.
By nearly all metrics, Draisaitl was the best offensive player in the NHL this season and can hold his own defensively as well. His fellow players clearly saw this and voted him as the Ted Lindsay winner. However, this win not only signifies that Draisaitl was an elite player this season, but that he has now officially escaped the shadow of Connor McDavid in the eyes of his teammates and competitors. While McDavid, considered by many to be one of if not the best player in the NHL, missed some time this season, he was outplayed by Draisaitl on a per-game basis when healthy too. If anyone still saw Draisaitl as the Kurri to McDavid’s Gretzky, those days are now over.