I am pleased to announce that The Puck Under the Sun will post it’s 1st ever Panthers Awards on April 13th. Awards include the return of the MVP award as well as other awards. Each award shall have a winner named by the committee of writers which include Kyle, Alex and Alejandro and a winner selected by our readers in a poll on twitter coming out the week after the regular season ends. The MVP award will be divided into two categories. The MVP will be an award decided by the writers while the Player of the Year award will be decided by the readers. Here are the awards and nominees.
MVP/Player of the Year
Awarded to: Most Valuable Player as picked by the Writing Committee (MVP) and Readers (POTY)
Previous Winners: Jaromir Jagr (2015-16), Jon Marchessault (2016-17),
Aleksander Barkov (2017-18)
Aleksander Barkov- The Finnish Center won the Puck Under the Sun MVP Award in 2017-18 with 78 points in 79 games. Named captain prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, Barkov’s campaign has seen him produce 2 hat tricks with 68 points in 66 Games. Barkov has scored 28 goals with 40 assists as he leads the team in the point category.
Jonathan Huberdeau- The Canadian winger is on track to eclipse his career high of 69 points as he has posted 65 points in 66 games. Huberdeau’s 47 assists lead the team.
Mike Hoffman- The newly acquired winger has completely ignited the powerplay and has made the powerplay one of the league’s best. Hoffman’s 30 goals lead the team after only playing 66 games so far this season.
Forward of the Year
Awarded to: The Best Forward on the Panthers
Note: Since all 3 nominees for MVP are forwards, the winner of the POTY Award will also win this award.
Defenseman of the Year
Awarded to: Best Defenseman
Keith Yandle- The Panther all star game representative leads Panther defenders with over 50 points. Yandle quarterbacks the Panthers lethal 1st powerplay unit and has improved his defensive play.
Aaron Ekblad- Ekblad like usual is currently in the top 10 of defenseman goal scorers. Ekblad in his 5th campaign this year broke Robert Svehela’s record of 61 goals by a Panther defenseman making him the best goal scorer on the back-end in Panther history. Ekblad’s defensive play has improved this season.
Mackenzie Weegar- The sophmore defenseman has become one of the Panthers most reliable defensive defenders this season. With 9 points in 48 games, Weegar boasts the 3rd best plus minus of any Panther that has played more than 45 games this year.
With the poor goaltending performance, I have decided that there will be no Goalie of the Year Award this year.
These awards are automatically given to the leader in each category.
Pavel Bure Award
Awarded to: Player with the most Goals in a season
Namesake: Pavel Bure (Record holder with 59 goals in the 2000-01 season)
Last Year’s Winner: Vincent Trocheck (31)
Current Candidates: Mike Hoffman (30), Aleksander Barkov (28)
Viktor Kozlov Award
Awarded to: Player with the most assists in a season
Namesake: Viktor Kozlov (Record holder with 53 assists in 1999-2000)
Last Year’s Winner: Aleksander Barkov (51)
Current Candidates: Jonathan Huberdeau (47), Keith Yandle (42),
Aleksander Barkov (40)
Olli Jokinen Award
Awarded to: Player with the most Points in a season
Namesake: Olli Jokinen (Franchise leader in Points)
Record Holder: Pavel Bure (94, 1999-2000)
Last Year’s Winner: Aleksander Barkov (78)
Current Candidates: Aleksander Barkov (68), Jonathan Huberdeau (65)
Jonathan Marchessault Award
Awarded to: Breakout Player of the Year
Namesake: Jonathan Marchessault
Current Candidates: Frank Vatrano, Mike Hoffman
Awarded to: Panther’s Best Rookie
Namesake: Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad
Candidates: Henrik Borgstrom, Jayce Hawryluk
Awarded to: Best Defensive Defenseman
Namesake: Erik Gudbranson
Candidates: Ian McCoshen, Mackenzie Weegar, Josh Brown
Awarded to: Best Defensive Forward
Namesake: Aleksander Barkov
Candidates: Aleksander Barkov, Henrik Borgstrom, Troy Brouwer
Awarded to: The Player who has been the biggest dissapointment this year.
Candidates: Vincent Trocheck, Mike Matheson, Roberto Luongo
Worst Player Award
Awarded to: The Player who has performed the worst this season.
Candidates: Roberto Luongo, Mike Matheson, James Reimer