Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was selected as the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award winner on Monday night. The award is given each season to the league’s most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
FROM NHL MEDIA RELEASE
Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers on Monday won the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
“That means a lot,” Draisaitl said. “Obviously, that’s always very important to you personally, how the players you play against and players that you battle against every night, how they see you and, you know, getting the appreciation or recognition from their side. It means a lot to me and, you know, obviously also to them. Thank you for voting for me.”
Draisaitl also won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP after he led the League with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) during the regular season. The forward was first in points per game (1.55), assists and power-play points (44), and was first among forwards in ice time per game (22:37), tied with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for first in game-winning goals (10), and was second in even-strength points (66) and power-play goals (16). He had 33 multipoint games and scored at least one point in 56 of 71 games.
“I mean, obviously it’s in the back of your mind,” Draisaitl said of thinking of winning awards during the season. “You read things, and you know you’re having a good year. But at the end of the day, you know, I don’t think about it when I’m on the ice, I don’t go home and think about it all day. It’s just something that that comes with playing well, and, you know, you go on and you play for your team and try to win, and obviously, a lot of times that’s my way of helping the team win. … But yeah, I mean it’s a great honor and a great day for me, for sure.”
Draisaitl helped the Oilers (37-25-9, .585 points percentage) advance to the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, when they lost a best-of-5 series to the Chicago Blackhawks in four games. Edmonton was 24-5-2 when he scored this season and 13-20-7 when he didn’t.
Draisaitl is the fourth Oilers player to win the award and first since center Connor McDavid in 2017-18. McDavid also won it in 2016-17. Mark Messier won the award in 1989-90, and Wayne Gretzky won it a record five times with Edmonton, including four straight seasons (1981-85) and in 1986-87.
“Yeah, it’s special. Every award, you know, for your personal career is very special, and it’s a big honor no matter what it is,” Draisaitl said. “You know, you work hard for this, and again there’s so many people that help you along the way, and so many things have to go right, so I’m obviously honored for that.”
Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers were the other finalists for the award, which players voted on before the postseason began. The three forwards also were the finalists for the Hart Trophy.
MacKinnon was fifth in the NHL with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) and helped the Avalanche finish with the second-best record in the Western Conference (42-20-8, .657) and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a third straight season.
Panarin tied Pastrnak for third in the NHL with 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) in 69 games. He was first in the League in even-strength points (71) and first among forwards in rating (plus-36) to help New York (37-28-5, .564) advance to the Qualifiers.
The 2020 NHL Awards had been scheduled for June 18 in Las Vegas but were postponed March 25 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.