Sportsnet NHL Insiders pick front-runners for each major award

Edmonton Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl (29). (Jason Franson/CP)

As the NHL season pause goes on, we’re left wondering what the first few nights of the Stanley Cup Playoffs may have looked like. We’d be about three or four games into each series by now — but rather, we’re just holding out hope that the COVID-19 outbreak settles enough so that it’s safe to resume and finish the 2019-20 season.

That’s no guarantee.

Look, we have no way of knowing if we’ve seen the last of this season or not. The NHL’s stated goal is to not just award a Cup in 2020, but to also finish the regular season, though commissioner Gary Bettman admitted for the first time last week that fitting in all 82 games “may not be possible.”

If that’s the case, then everyone has made their full pitch for the NHL Awards, which themselves have been postponed until further notice. Whether those end up being handed out in person, online, or in some other ceremony remains to be seen.

But we can ponder who the front-runners for each would be at least.

So, we tasked Sportsnet NHL Insiders to name their pick for each of the major awards right now, even those not voted on by the media. The caveat is that these picks are not written in stone — after all, there’s still a chance we get more regular season games to see these play out. These picks could still change.

But to get the debates flowing, here are our individual award front-runners…as they stand right now.

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Chris Johnston: Leon Draisaitl
Eric Engels: Leon Draisaitl
Christine Simpson: Leon Draisaitl
Mark Spector: Leon Draisaitl
Justin Bourne: Leon Draisaitl
Luke Fox: Leon Draisaitl
Dan Murphy: Artemi Panarin
Caroline Cameron: Nathan MacKinnon
Eric Francis: Leon Draisaitl
Kyle Bukauskas: Leon Draisaitl
Sean Reynolds: Leon Draisaitl
Ryan Dixon: Nathan MacKinnon
Gord Stellick: Nathan MacKinnon
Rory Boylen: Nathan MacKinnon

Chris Johnston: Roman Josi
Eric Engels: John Carlson
Christine Simpson: John Carlson
Mark Spector: John Carlson
Justin Bourne: John Carlson
Luke Fox: John Carlson
Dan Murphy: Roman Josi
Caroline Cameron: Roman Josi
Eric Francis: John Carlson
Kyle Bukauskas: John Carlson
Sean Reynolds: Roman Josi
Ryan Dixon: John Carlson
Gord Stellick: Roman Josi
Rory Boylen: Roman Josi

Chris Johnston: Quinn Hughes
Eric Engels: Quinn Hughes
Christine Simpson: Quinn Hughes
Mark Spector: Cale Makar
Justin Bourne: Cale Makar
Luke Fox: Quinn Hughes
Dan Murphy: Quinn Hughes
Caroline Cameron: Quinn Hughes
Eric Francis: Cale Makar
Kyle Bukauskas: Quinn Hughes
Sean Reynolds: Cale Makar
Ryan Dixon: Cale Makar
Gord Stellick: Cale Makar
Rory Boylen: Cale Makar

Chris Johnston: Connor Hellebuyck
Eric Engels: Connor Hellebuyck
Christine Simpson: Connor Hellebuyck
Mark Spector: Connor Hellebuyck
Justin Bourne: Connor Hellebuyck
Luke Fox: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Dan Murphy: Connor Helleybuyck
Caroline Cameron: Connor Hellebuyck
Eric Francis: Tuukka Rask
Kyle Bukauskas: Connor Hellebuyck
Sean Reynolds: Connor Hellebuyck
Ryan Dixon: Connor Hellebuyck
Gord Stellick: Connor Helleybuck
Rory Boylen: Connor Hellebuyck

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

Chris Johnston: Anthony Cirelli
Eric Engels: Patrice Bergeron
Christine Simpson: Patrice Bergeron
Mark Spector: Jonathan Toews
Justin Bourne: Sean Couturier
Luke Fox: Brad Marchand
Dan Murphy: Sean Couturier
Caroline Cameron: Sean Couturier
Eric Francis: Brayden Point
Kyle Bukauskas: Sean Couturier
Sean Reynolds: Sean Couturier
Ryan Dixon: Sean Couturier
Gord Stellick: Ryan O’Rielly
Rory Boylen: Sean Couturier

Chris Johnston: Zach Werenski
Eric Engels: Teuvo Teravainen
Christine Simpson: Nathan MacKinnon
Mark Spector: Nathan MacKinnon
Justin Bourne: Ryan O’Reilly
Luke Fox: Teuvo Teravainen
Dan Murphy: Ryan Suter
Caroline Cameron: Nathan MacKinnon
Eric Francis: Nathan MacKinnon
Kyle Bukauskas: Zach Werenski
Sean Reynolds: Ryan O’Reilly
Ryan Dixon: Ryan Suter
Gord Stellick: Leon Draisaitl
Rory Boylen: Ryan O’Reilly

Chris Johnston: Bruce Cassidy
Eric Engels: Mike Sullivan
Christine Simpson: Mike Sullivan
Mark Spector: Paul Maurice
Justin Bourne: Bruce Cassidy
Luke Fox: Alain Vigneault
Dan Murphy: Alain Vigneault
Caroline Cameron: Travis Green
Eric Francis: Mike Sullivan
Kyle Bukauskas: John Tortorella
Sean Reynolds: Jared Bednar
Ryan Dixon: Bruce Cassidy
Gord Stellick: Bruce Cassidy
Rory Boylen: Bruce Cassidy

Senior Writer Ryan Dixon and NHL Editor Rory Boylen always give it 110%, but never rely on clichés when it comes to podcasting. Instead, they use a mix of facts, fun and a varied group of hockey voices to cover Canada’s most beloved game.

Chris Johnston: Connor McDavid
Eric Engels: Connor McDavid
Christine Simpson: Connor McDavid
Mark Spector: Connor McDavid
Justin Bourne: Stephen Johns
Luke Fox: Connor McDavid
Dan Murphy: Jacob Markstrom
Caroline Cameron: Bobby Ryan
Eric Francis: Bobby Ryan
Kyle Bukauskas: Connor McDavid
Sean Reynolds: Connor McDavid
Ryan Dixon: Zdeno Chara
Gord Stellick: Zdeno Chara
Rory Boylen: Bobby Ryan

Chris Johnston: Ken Holland
Eric Engels: Joe Sakic
Christine Simpson: Joe Sakic
Mark Spector: Ken Holland
Justin Bourne: Joe Sakic
Luke Fox: Joe Sakic
Dan Murphy: Joe Sakic
Caroline Cameron: Joe Sakic
Eric Francis: Joe Sakic
Kyle Bukauskas: Joe Sakic
Sean Reynolds: Joe Sakic
Ryan Dixon: Joe Sakic
Gord Stellick: Chuck Fletcher
Rory Boylen: Joe Sakic

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