The NHL has announced the 2023 Ted Lindsay Award nominees. The award is given to the most outstanding player in the NHL and is voted on by the players. The Ted Lindsay Award is very similar to the Hart Trophy, with the unique feature of the award being that is that it is voted on by members of the NHLPA. Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs won the award last year and was the fourth different winner in as many years.
This year the finalists for the award are San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, and right winger David Pastrňák of the Boston Bruins.
McDavid continues to be widely regarded as the best player in the world and it is hard to argue with the numbers. The 26-year-old put up video game like numbers this year with 64 goals and 89 assists in 82 regular season games on his way to a third consecutive Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer. McDavid outpaced the entire league by 25 points this season, with the second leading scorer being teammate Leon Draisaitl. He outscored fellow Ted Lindsay nominee Pastrňák by 40 points.
Pastrňák has a career year putting up 61 goals and 52 assists in 82 games as he led the Boston Bruins to a historical President’s Trophy winning regular season. The soon to be 27-year-old put up an incredible 43 even strength goals and 76 even strength points. Pastrňák nearly lapped his own team in scoring as he outscored the second leading Bruins scorer Brad Marchand by 46 points. Maybe the most impressive feat of all for Pastrňák was that he put up this incredible season in a contract year. Somehow the winger was able to keep out the noise and put-up terrific numbers before signing an eight year $90MM contract extension on March 2nd .
Speaking of historical seasons, defenseman Erik Karlsson eclipsed the 100 points mark this season finishing the year with 25 goals and 76 assists in 82 games. The smooth skating Swede was the first defenseman to top 100 points in 31 years. Even more impressive than that was the fact that Karlsson did it playing on a bad Sharks team while also dealing with his name being in trade talks all season. Karlsson topped his career high point total by 19, and quieted a lot of his harshest critics in what was an incredible offensive display.
It’ll be interesting to see who comes away with the Ted Lindsay award come June when the ceremony will be held in Nashville. McDavid is likely the favorite to pick up the award, however I wouldn’t discount a 100-point defenseman in this era as Karlsson is just the sixth defenseman ever to accomplish the feat.