The Chicago Blackhawks have had another successful regular season campaign so far in 2015-16. With nine games left to play before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, the Blackhawks find themselves in third place in the Central Division standings, four points back of the division leading Dallas Stars, two points behind the St. Louis Blues, and six points clear of the Nashville Predators for the Western Conference’s first wild card spot.
The Blackhawks are seen as Stanley Cup contenders again this year, and that comes from a full team effort, but some players have stood above others on the team and in the NHL. So which Blackhawks players are going to be in consideration for the NHL regular season awards like the Hart, Selke, Vezina, Calder and more?
Blackhawks for the Hart Memorial Trophy: NHL MVP
Let’s start with the easiest to call: the Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s MVP. This one has been all but wrapped up for quite some time, as this will be Patrick Kane‘s year.
- Front-runner: Patrick Kane
- Contenders: Braden Holtby, Jamie Benn
- In the mix: Alex Ovechkin, Erik Karlsson, Anze Kopitar
Kane has had one roller coaster of a season from last summer to this spring. With everything going on off the ice at the beginning of the season, who would have guessed that Kane could pull together and have the kind of season that he has had? Kane is flirting with 100 points this season, needing eight over the last nine games of the year. He had his insane points streak earlier this year that basically carried the Blackhawks offensively in a time where he was nearly the only player clicking at the time. Kane has run away with the Art Ross already for the NHL’s scoring leader and, lots of times, the scoring leader is considered the league’s MVP as well.
Also of note, Kane would be the first American-born player to win the Hart and, had he not been injured late last year, he would’ve won the award last season with the level his game was at prior to breaking his collarbone.