First Half of the NHL Season Awards

January 25, 2016

As we approach the NHL All Star break, why not take a look at some of the standout performances so far. It's been an exciting and in some ways unpredictable season, obviously these players had a lot to do with that.

Best Defenseman: John Klingberg

I am a traditionalist when it comes to defensemen, so although Erik Karlsson would probably get most people's votes, I really love the fact that John Klingberg is sporting a +/- of 10. He may not have as many goals as Brent Burns or Karlsson, but when he's out on the ice, people are scoring and more importantly...the other team isn't.

Best Goalie: Braden Holtby 

Both Braden Holtby and Ben Bishop have been outstanding this season between the pipes, but Holtby has taken his game and his team to a whole new level. If he can keep this season going, he is a shoe in for the Vezina and who knows? He might just have a Stanley Cup ring as well.

Best Rookie: Artemi Panarin

Personally, I am a huge Dylan Larkin fan, but Artemi Panarin has had an absolutely incredible start to his career. I mean they guy has found a way to fit in to the reigning Stanley Cup Champs who just happen to be filled with superstars. The sky is the limit for Panarin.

Most Improved Team: Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers have really poured it on this season and sit only behind the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference. To think that this team used to be a punching bag for the rest of the NHL is kind of unreal considering their success so far in 2015-16. If they can hold on to this momentum, who knows what might happen come playoff time? The Caps are looking unstoppable, but we know they've always struggled in the post season.


MVP: Patrick Kane

Not much of a shock here. He leads the league in goals, leads the league in assists and is 3rd in +/-. There are a lot of key components to Chicago's successes, but the driving force this season has been Patrick Kane. 


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