Winnipeg Jets left winger Kyle Connor, Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Jaccob Slavin and Minnesota Wild defenceman Jared Spurgeon were nominated for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced on Wednesday.
The trophy, given “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” was awarded to Slavin last season.
Connor, coming off the best offensive season of his six-year NHL career, was among the league leaders in shots on goal (4th; 317), goals (T5th; 47), game-winning goals (T6th; 9) and points (13th; 93). Connor, a native of Shelby Township, Mich., established career highs in assists (46), power-play assists (20), power-play points (28) and shorthanded goals/points (3). Notably for the Lady Byng, he had only four penalty minutes in 79 games – the fewest among the league’s top 100 scorers (minimum: 50 games played). Connor 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.
Slavin, who set career highs in assists (38) and points (42) in 79 games, was assessed only five minor penalties. The Erie, Colo., native is vying to become the first player to win consecutive Lady Byng Trophies since Martin St. Louis did so with the Lightning in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Spurgeon, last season’s runner-up, topped Wild defensemen in goals (10), assists (30) and points (40). 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) in 65 games. The Edmonton native also received only five minor penalties – the seventh time in his 12 NHL seasons he has been assessed 10 or fewer penalty minutes – while playing an average of 21:09.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association vote on the Lady Byng Trophy at the end of the regular season. The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates to be announced.
The three finalists for the 2022 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 20. The series of announcements continues Thursday, when the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award will be unveiled.