If the St. Louis Blues' first Stanley Cup championship was a team effort, that was proven Wednesday night when the NHL handed out its annual individual honors at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
While the Blues' Ryan O'Reilly won his first Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward, the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player went to Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kucherov beat out finalists Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers for the honor.
After producing 128 points in the regular season, the Russian right winger won the award for the first time. Kucherov, 26, also won the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the league's outstanding player as selected by his fellow players, and the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring with a career-best 41 goals and 87 assists.
"Really honored to receive this award and so humbled to be up here again," Kucherov said while accepting the Hart. "(I'd) like to thank my teammates, coaches, all the trainers as well as our ownership and the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for everything you do for us and for your support. A big part of this award goes to you guys."
O'Reilly, who was the Blues' top scorer with 77 points, beat out four-time winner Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights for the Selke Trophy. O'Reilly had previously won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs during St. Louis' title run.
"It's obviously a huge honor," O'Reilly said of winning the Selke. "Seeing the names that are on that are guys I've always admired, and to be one of them and to be on that, it's amazing. It's a great cap-off to that amazing week. Yeah, it's crazy. It's great. I'm just kind of overwhelmed with everything that's been going on."
Other major awards that were handed out included:
Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie: The Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy beat out Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars and Robin Lehner of the New York Islanders. Vasilevskiy, winning the award for the first time, recorded an NHL-leading 39 victories.
Calder Trophy as the NHL's best rookie: Center Elias Pettersson, 20, of the Vancouver Canucks beat out goalie Jordan Binnington of the Blues and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres. The fifth overall pick in 2017 by the Canucks, Pettersson collected a rookie-best 28 goals and 38 assists.
Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman: Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames. Giordano, 35, beat out the 2017 winner, Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, and last year's honoree, Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman. Giordano, the Flames captain, scored a career-best 74 points and led the league with a plus-39 rating.
Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach (based on regular-season performance): The Islanders' Barry Trotz, who beat out the Lightning's Jon Cooper and the Blues' Craig Berube. Under Trotz, who won the award with the Washington Capitals three years ago, the Islanders finished 48-27-7, a 23-point increase from 2018.
Lady Byng Trophy as the player best combining sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability: Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, who beat out O'Reilly and the Flames' Sean Monahan. A Lady Byng finalist for the third time in four seasons, Barkov totaled a franchise-record 96 points while committing only four minor penalties for the Panthers.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contributions to hockey: Forward Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild, a first-time winner of the award, beating out finalists Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy to the player exemplifying the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey: Lehner, who has struggled with addiction and bipolar disorder. He became the third Islanders player to win the award. Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Joe Thornton of the Sharks were the other finalists.
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Wayne Simmonds of the Nashville Predators, though most of his work off the ice during the regular season was with the Philadelphia Flyers.
NHL's General Manager of the Year: Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins, the team that lost the Stanley Cup Final in seven games to the Blues. Other finalists were the Blues' Doug Armstrong and Don Waddell of the Carolina Hurricanes.
--Field Level Media