Projecting 2024 NHL awards winners at All-Star break

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL season hits its unofficial halfway point this week with the annual All-Star break. And that’s a perfect time to assess who the leading awards candidates are so far in the 2023-24 season.

Not surprisingly, with the Vancouver Canucks tied for the top spot in the League standings and the Edmonton Oilers riding a 16-game winning streak, you’ll find a few of their players mentioned below.

But the net has been cast wide throughout the NHL to find the best of the best.

Though much can change over the final 30+ games for each team, let’s examine whom the winners and runners-up should be at this juncture for the top NHL awards.

Related: What to look for at 2024 NHL All-Star skills competition

Calder Trophy – Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild)

NHL: Washington Capitals at Minnesota Wild
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At one time, Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard was on track to be the runaway rookie-of-the-year winner. But now that he’s sidelined at least six weeks with a fractured jaw, it’s opened the door for Minnesota Wild defenseman Brock Faber to overtake the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

No rookie averages more ice time than Faber (24:51), who’s flourished on the Wild blue line despite a long-term injury to captain Jared Spurgeon and another sustained by veteran Jonas Brodin. Composed and skilled at each end of the ice, Faber leads NHL rookies with 25 assists. The 21 year-old also tops rookie defenseman and is second among all rookie players with 29 points.

Runners-up: Connor Bedard – F – Chicago Blackhawks; Pyotr Kochetkov – G – Carolina Hurricanes

Honorable Mention: Marco Rossi – F – Minnesota Wild; Luke Hughes – D – New Jersey Devils; Adam Fantilli – F – Columbus Blue Jackets

Jack Adams Award – Rick Tocchet (Vancouver Canucks)

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Arizona Coyotes
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The top three coaches in the NHL the first half of this season are clearly defined. Rick Tocchet of the Vancouver Canucks, John Tortorella of the Philadelphia Flyers and Rick Bowness of the Winnipeg Jets are in a tight race to win the Jack Adams Award.

Tortorella probably has done the best job considering how low expectations were for the Flyers and how many youngsters play important roles. His most difficult job lies ahead as the Flyers must navigate the season’s second half without goalie Carter Hart, who’s on an indefinite leave of absence.

Still, as great a job as Tortorella is doing in Philly, Tocchet gets the nod here with the Canucks tied for first overall in the NHL with the Boston Bruins. Not sure anyone saw that coming halfway through the season, but Tocchet has the Canucks playing outstanding hockey in every facet of the game from the goal on out with a whopping plus-59 in goal differential.

Runners-up: John Tortorella (Philadelphia Flyers); Rick Bowness (Winnipeg Jets)

Honorable Mention: Derek Lalonde (Detroit Red Wings); Kris Knoblauch (Edmonton Oilers); Jim Montgomery (Boston Bruins)

Related: Longest NHL winning streak: Edmonton Oilers inch closer to all-time record

Vezina Trophy – Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets)

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Toronto Maple Leafs
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This is not virgin territory for Connor Hellebuyck. The 30-year-old is a three-time Vezina Trophy finalist and won the award as the top NHL goalie in 2019-20.

He’s been the backbone of Winnipeg’s resurgence this season, leading NHL goalies who’ve played at least 25 games with a 2.20 goals-against average and tied for first in save percentage (.924) with Jeremy Swayman of the Bruins.

Runners-up: Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins); Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)

Honorable Mention: Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers); Joey Daccord (Seattle Kraken); Sergei Bobrovsky (Florida Panthers)

Norris Trophy – Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)

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Quinn Hughes is having a monster season for the Canucks, threatening to become the second defenseman since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to record 100 points. Hughes leads NHL defensemen with 62 points in 49 games and is third among all skaters with 50 assists. He’s also a plus-34 and averages 24:30 in ice time.

The bigger surprise on this list is Noah Dobson. The New York Islanders defenseman has stepped up this season amid injuries to Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock to play a shade under 26 minutes a game and have a plus-21 for a team that’s a minus-23 goal differential. The 24-year-old has already established NHL career highs with 46 assists and 52 points this season.

Runners-up: Noah Dobson (New York Islanders); Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)

Honorable Mention: Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning); Evan Bouchard (Edmonton Oilers); Adam Fox (New York Rangers)

Hart Trophy – Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Tampa Bay Lightning
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Auston Matthews has 40 goals already. Quinn Hughes could reach 100 points as a defenseman. Sam Reinhart could score 50 goals. Connor McDavid is, well, Connor McDavid.

But it’s a two-horse race for the Hart Trophy, presented to the NHL MVP. Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche are the two best players in the game this season. Kucherov is one point better in the scoring race (85-84) and each is tied for the League lead with 53 assists. Flip a coin, either forward is deserving for this award. But would the Lightning even be in the playoff picture without Kucherov’s heroics this season? Likely not.

Runners-up: Nathan MacKinnon – F – Colorado Avalanche; Quinn Hughes – D – Vancouver Canucks

Honorable Mention: Auston Matthews – F – Toronto Maple Leafs; David Pastrnak – F – Boston Bruins; Connor McDavid – F – Edmonton Oilers; Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)

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