by Lisa Brown on 06/21/12 at 12:00 AM ET
It was close, but neither Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle walked away from the annual NHL awards show in Las Vegas with an award. Both players placed second in voting for their respective awards; the Calder Trophy and the Lady Byng.What might be considered shocking is that 2 voters placed Nugent-Hopkins as 5th best, and 12 as 4th rookie of the year (as per Dan Tencer). Of course both players are happy just to be nominated, but surely it won’t be too long before players like Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins are awarded something.
Nugent-Hopkins would have been the first Edmonton Oiler to win rookie of the year, and shockingly the trend continues. It is not a knock against Gabriel Landeskog who is himself an incredible player with an immense amount of talent, but in the end it was said that it was his injury that held him back. Some voted against Nugent-Hopkins because he was injured and not because of his on ice play and scoring totals. To the many rabid Oiler fans that is not a consolation, and rather should have been another feather in the Nuge’s cap that he did so well during so few games. None the less, this award still evades the Oilers. Perhaps next year things will be different, perhaps even as early as next year. Without naming names, it may even be a young winger who is likely to be taken first overall by the Oilers in two days time. Of course baring any unforeseeable trade.
No matter what, it is still an honour to be nominated and something that these two young players will never forget.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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