And the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng Trophy are……. Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames, Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild, and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.
The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” All three of these finalists have never been nominated for this award.
Johnny Gaudreau scored 18 goals and 61 points in 72 games, while registering 4 penalty minutes. His 61 points put him tied for 35th in the NHL, while his 0.85 points per game put him tied for 24th among players with at least 41 games played. His 4 penalty minutes are tied for last in the NHL for players with at least 41 games played.
Mikael Granlund scored 26 goals and 69 points in 81 games, while registering 12 penalty minutes. His 69 points puts him in a tie for 20th in the NHL, while his 26 goals rank him tied for 40th. His 12 penalty minutes puts him in a tie for 47th in the NHL among players with at least 41 games played.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored 39 goals and 75 points in 82 games, while registering 12 penalty minutes. His 39 goals puts him in a tie for 4th in the NHL, and his 75 points put him in 10th overall in the NHL. His 12 penalty minutes puts him in a tie for 47th in the NHL among players with at least 41 games played.
And the winner is……
Johnny Gaudreau. This award is all about putting up points while avoiding taking penalties, and while all three of the nominees ranked in the Top 35 for league scoring, and the bottom 50 for penalty minutes taken, Gaudreau took the fewest. Although Granlund and Tarasenko had more goals and more points, Gaudreau 4 penalty minutes, which are tied for last (among players with at least 41 games played) put him over the top. Since nobody who played the requisite amount of games this season had fewer penalties than Gaudreau, he will almost definitely win this award.