The 2021 NHL Awards wrapped up on Tuesday night with a 30-minute broadcast to reveal the final regular-season trophies. The Philadelphia Flyers came up empty-handed in those –– even in terms of voting ––, which wasn’t a surprise given how the season went.
But that got us to thinking: Could any Flyers potentially win these awards next season –– or at the very least, be in the running?
NHL Awards: Which Flyers could be in running next season?
Calder Trophy (Best Rookie)
The Flyers don’t really have any players that jump off the page here, but we’ll give it a shot.
Morgan Frost has yet to play a full season in the NHL, whether it be due to his skills, size, injuries, or a combination of everything. He played in 20 games in the 2019-20 season, recording seven points (two goals, five assists) in 13:41 of ice time per game. This past season, Frost unfortunately got injured in his second game. Otherwise, he had a great opportunity in front of him to impress while Sean Couturier was out in late January and early February.
Going into next season, Frost is one of the Flyers’ few rookies –– if he’s not traded, that is –– to keep an eye on. He could impress once again in training camp and win a roster spot. Who knows, maybe he’s given a chance in the middle six depending on how this offseason shakes out.
Ultimately, it’s not very probable, but it’s not impossible for Frost to be in the running for the Calder next season. The 22-year-old forward had back-to-back 100-point seasons (112 and 109) in his final two years in the OHL. He had 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 41 games during his rookie season with the Phantoms.
Cam York is another Flyers rookie that could crack the opening night roster. He impressed in his three games this past season, playing over 20 minutes in is first two games and 18:28 in the season finale.
York, who will turn 21 in January, had five points (two goals, three assists) in eight AHL games after putting up 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 24 games with the University of Michigan. He was named the Big Ten Defenseman of the Year for his efforts.
York has all the makings of a great offensive defenseman. Shayne Gostisbehere went on an amazing run during his rookie season and would have won the Calder if it had not been for the 24-year-old Artemi Panarin. York could be in the running if he plays most of the season with the Flyers.
Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player)
Yeah, we’re going to be reaching for straws here.
Sean Couturier is the Flyers’ most valuable player, so it’s only fitting that he’s the top candidate –– if not the only realistic candidate –– to possibly win the Hart Trophy next season. Even so, that “realistic” chance is slim-to-none.
Couturier would have to smash his career-high of 76 points to even have a chance. He did win the Selke Trophy last season, however, and should be in the running again next season as long as he stays healthy and the Flyers are competitive.
Does Claude Giroux have one more amazing season in the tank? He surprised everyone with a 102-point season in 2017-18, earning him a disrespectful fourth-place finish in Hart voting. This will be four years later and Giroux only has 96 points in 123 games over the past two shortened seasons. He would need 96+ points in 82 games to even have a chance.
Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman)
The Flyers have a few defensemen that were projected to be Norris Trophy candidates throughout their careers, but things aren’t looking as bright now. Still, turnarounds could happen.
Ivan Provorov has alternated good and bad seasons throughout his five-year NHL career and just had one of his worst thus far. If that pattern continues, Provorov could be back in the good graces in the 2021-22 season.
Provorov wouldn’t be doing it alone, however. The Flyers would have to acquire a top-tier right defenseman to pair with Provorov if the Russian blueliner has any hopes of cracking the Norris Trophy voting.
Unnamed Offseason Acquisition
That aforementioned offseason acquisition is probably the Flyers’ best chance of winning the Norris Trophy next season.
Dougie Hamilton, who the Flyers should be in on quite heavily, just finished fourth in the voting this season. He received one first-place vote, eight second-place votes, and 51 votes across third through fifth. The 28-year-old defenseman could have another great year and see his defense highlighted if the Flyers lock things down next season.
Seth Jones is another possibility. Like Provorov, he would need a big bounce-back season after a few bad years. However, Jones has the ability to be a top-tier defensemen. He finished fourth in Norris voting for the 2017-18 season and ninth for the 2018-19 season. A change of scenery could get him back to that level.
Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender)
There’s really only one candidate for the Flyers.
Carter Hart has the pedigree, mindset, and abilities to win multiple Vezina trophies in his career. It may not seem like it, but all signs point to Hart returning to form in a normal season.
Hart has even had some really strong stretches in his young NHL career. From January 10th to February 9th in 2019, Hart went 9-1-0 with a .935 SV% (331 saves on 354 shots). He had a similar stretch the following year. He went 11-3-0 record and .929 SV% (377 saves on 406 shots) from January 8th to March 10th.
Photo: Heather Barry Images