by PuckStopsHere on 04/14/12 at 03:29 PM ET
I try to pick leaders for the various NHL awards as soon as I possibly can in the season and regularly monitor when I think the leading candidate changes. I want to see at which point the eventual winner takes the lead in the award race. Teams have only played one or two games in the 2012 playoffs, but there is a clear early MVP. Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers is that man.
Giroux has six points and a +4 +/- rating. He leads or is tied for the league lead in playoff goals, assists, points and +/-. Giroux had an incredible game last night and is now the early playoff MVP.
Claude Giroux is my pick for the most improved forward in the NHL this season. I wrote earlier that Erik Karlsson is the most improved player this season and Jonathan Quick is the most improved goalie this season. Giroux jumped from 47 to 76 to 93 points in the last three NHL seasons. He was the third highest scorer in the league this season. Giroux is a top scorer in the NHL and looks like he will remain one well into the future.
Claude Giroux has become one of the top offensive players in the NHL. He looks like he could develop into an NHL superstar. He has been the best player so far in the early playoffs. His stardom is quickly rising.
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