May 18, 2022
NEW YORK (May 18, 2022) – Winnipeg Jets left wing Kyle Connor, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon are the three finalists for the 2021-22 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 winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Kyle Connor, LW, Winnipeg Jets
Connor produced the best offensive season of his six-year NHL career, setting personal highs and ranking among the League leaders in shots on goal (4th; 317), goals (t-5th; 47), game-winning goals (t-6th; 9) and points (13th; 93). Connor – who also established career highs in assists (46), power-play assists (20), power-play points (28) and shorthanded goals/points (3) – finished fourth among NHL forwards in average time on ice (21:47) and 12th among all skaters in takeaways (66). He did so while receiving only four penalty minutes during his 79 appearances – the fewest among the League’s top 100 scorers in 2021-22 (minimum: 50 GP). Connor, a first-time finalist, also is the first Lady Byng Trophy finalist in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history and is seeking to become the first Winnipeg player (from the current or original Jets) to capture the award.
Jaccob Slavin, D, Carolina Hurricanes
Slavin, the reigning Lady Byng Trophy winner, logged the most total (1,858:52) and average (23:32) minutes for a Carolina defense that allowed a League-low 202 goals en route to claiming its first William M. Jennings Trophy in franchise history and second straight division title. Slavin – who offensively produced career highs in assists (38) and points (42) across 79 games – was assessed only five minor penalties while ranking among the 2021-22 leaders in shorthanded time on ice (2nd; 255:00), average shorthanded time on ice (3rd; 3:14), takeaways (t-4th; 74) and plus/minus (t-12th; +35). He is vying to become the first player (at any position) to win consecutive Lady Byng Trophies since Martin St. Louis in 2009-10 and 2010-11 (w/ TBL) and just the second defenseman to achieve the feat, following Red Kelly in 1952-53 and 1953-54 (w/ DET).
Jared Spurgeon, D, Minnesota Wild
Spurgeon, last season’s runner-up, topped Wild defensemen in goals (10), assists (30) and points (40) to help Minnesota (53-22-7, 113 points) post its best campaign in franchise history. Spurgeon, who is seeking to become the first Wild player to capture the Lady Byng Trophy, established career highs in assists, points per game (0.62) and power-play assists/points (14) while playing just 65 contests in 2021-22. He did so while also receiving only five minor penalties – the seventh time in his 12 NHL seasons he has been assessed 10 or fewer penalty minutes – and playing an average of 21:09. Only two other players, Spurgeon’s Lady Byng Trophy competition, averaged as much time on ice in 2021-22 while being assessed 10 or fewer penalty minutes (minimum: 10 GP): Slavin (23:32 TOI/GP, 10 PIM) and Connor (21:47 TOI/GP, 4 PIM).
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.
The three finalists for the 2022 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 20. The series of announcements continues Thursday, May 19, when the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award will be unveiled.