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August 2018
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NHL announces 2018 Lady Byng Trophy Finalists

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

NEW YORK – Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson and Buffalo Sabrescenter Ryan O’Reilly are the three finalists for the 2017-18 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” the National Hockey League announced today.

 

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

 

Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:

 

Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers

Barkov posted a career-high 51 assists and 78 points (27-51—78), the most by a Panthers player since 2006-07 (Olli Jokinen: 39-52—91). He also led the NHL with five shorthanded goals, one shy of the franchise record set by Tom Fitzgerald in 1995-96. Barkov played in a career-high 79 games, ranking second among League forwards in average time on ice (22:04). He also placed fifth overall with 82 takeaways while receiving only seven minor penalties and 14 penalty minutes – the second-fewest by any player in the top 25 in NHL scoring. The 22-year-old Tampere, Finland, native is a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the second time in the past three seasons after finishing second in voting in 2015-16. He is vying to become the second player in Florida history to win the award, following Brian Campbell in 2011-12.

 

William Karlsson, C, Vegas Golden Knights

Karlsson, who compiled 18-32—50 in 183 NHL games prior to 2017-18, ranked third in the NHL with 43 goals (43-35—78 in 82 GP) to power the Golden Knights to unprecedented success for an expansion team. Only five players have scored more goals while playing for a club in its inaugural season, while just seven have registered more points. Karlsson filled the scoresheet while taking only six minor penalties, finishing with the fewest penalty minutes (12) among the League’s top 40 scorers. He also topped the NHL with a +49 rating, 13 better than the next-closest player and the highest by anyone since 2009-10 (Jeff Schultz: +50 w/ WSH). The 25-year-old Marsta, Sweden, native is seeking to become the first player to win an end-of-season trophy for a team in its inaugural campaign since 1979-80 (Wayne Gretzky w/ EDM).

 

Ryan O’Reilly, C, Buffalo Sabres

O’Reilly posted 24-37—61, his second-best offensive season, while enjoying historic numbers in the face-off circle. His 1,274 face-off wins were the most by any player since the League officially began tracking the statistic in 1997-98. O’Reilly (1,274/2,214, 60.0%) also became the third different player to record 1,000 face-off wins in one season while maintaining a 60.0 winning percentage, joining Patrice Bergeron and Rod Brind’Amour(2x each). Beyond the face-off dot, O’Reilly received only one minor penalty – the fewest by any player with at least 41 appearances. The 27-year-old Clinton, Ont., native is aiming for his second Lady Byng Trophy after winning the award in 2013-14 (w/ COL). He also is looking to become the second player in Sabres history to collect the trophy, following Gilbert Perreault in 1972-73.

 

History

Lady Byng, wife of Canada’s Governor General at the time, presented the Lady Byng Trophy during the 1924-25 season. After Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times in eight seasons, he was given the trophy to keep and Lady Byng donated another trophy in 1936. After Lady Byng’s death in 1949, the NHL presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

 

Announcement Schedule

The three finalists for NHL Trophies are being announced by NBC Sports in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada during pregame programming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs through Monday, April 30. The series of announcements continues on Saturday, April 21, when the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.

 

2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu

The 2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu will be held Wednesday, June 20, at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s state-of-the-art concert and entertainment venue. It marks the second year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, home to world-class entertainment, dining and party hotspots as well as concerts and special events. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the event live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

 

A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a later date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.