The results of the Eyes On Isles mid-season New York Islanders awards voting are in! This article will discuss the results of the seven awards that 300+ Eyes On Isles readers voted on. So let’s jump right in.
Hart Trophy Winner: Islanders C, Mathew Barzal (170/317 votes, 53.63%)
1. Mathew Barzal – 170 votes (53.6%)
2. Anders Lee – 55 votes (17.4%)
3. Semyon Varlamov – 34 votes (10.7%)
Mathew Barzal currently leads the Islanders with 24 points in 31 games played, and despite his high penalty minute totals, he’s the team’s MVP as voted by the readers.
Barzal’s game has seen marked improvement in almost all departments this season, as he’s driving play better both in the offensive and defensive zone, and he’s finishing scoring chances at a higher rate than previously.
Calder Trophy Winner: Islanders RW, Oliver Wahlstrom (315/353 votes, 89.24%)
1. Oliver Wahlstrom – 315 votes (89.2%)
2. Ilya Sorokin – 36 votes (10.2%)
3. Kieffer Bellows – 2 votes (0.6%)
Eyes On Isles readers voted Oliver Wahlstrom as the team’s rookie of the year in a landslide. This one was fairly easy to see coming, as Wahlstrom has scored a number of key goals this season, and has been a dangerous shooting presence from his first 2020-21 appearance.
Wahlstrom is tied for the third-most goals and seventh-most points among NHL rookies in 2020-21. But, he’s also rounding out the other parts of his game quite nicely. He’s been an above-average defensive play-driver at 5v5, and he’s proven he sees the ice well on the Islanders power-plays by making nice passes and good decisions to keep play alive.
He’s the most-exciting rookie the Islanders have had since Mat Barzal, and as such, Eyes On Isles readers justly elected him their mid-season Calder winner.
Vezina Trophy Winner: Islanders G, Semyon Varlamov (343/353 votes, 97.17%)
An even greater disparity in votes for the Eyes On Isles mid-season Vezina winner, Semyon Varlamov! Varly has been fantastic in 2020-21, and his strong goaltending is one of many keys to the Islanders success this season.
Varlamov is currently the 12th-ranked NHL goalie in GSAx, a stat measuring the number of actual goals a goalie has saved vs expectation. Varlamov received the third-most Vezina Trophy votes by a panel of NHL.com writers this past week, and our reader base obviously agreed with their assessment of the 32-year-old’s form.
Norris Trophy Winner: Islanders D, Adam Pelech (182/353 votes, 51.56%)
1. Adam Pelech – 182 votes (51.6%)
2. Ryan Pulock – 112 votes (31.7%)
3. Nick Leddy – 44 votes (12.5%)
Norris voting was always going to be a tighter race than Calder or Vezina for this Islanders team, but Adam Pelech still managed to snag nearly 52% of total votes as the Islanders best defenseman in 2020-21.
Adam Pelech is one of the top-five defensemen in the NHL this season. His isolated 5v5 metrics are right up there with the league’s best, and he’s been an elite shot suppressor from the dangerous areas in 2020-21.
He and Ryan Pulock are anchoring one of the league’s best D pairings, but Eyes On Isles readers have spoken, and Adam Pelech is the Islanders best defenseman at the half-way point of this season.
Selke Trophy Winner: Islanders C, Jean-Gabriel Pageau (151/340 votes, 44.41%)
1. Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 151 votes (44.4%)
2. Casey Cizikas – 95 votes (27.9%)
3. Matt Martin – 19 votes (5.6%)
44.4% of the vote went to the Islanders no. 44, Jean-Gabriel Pageau! The bulk of votes in this category fell to one of Pageau or Casey Cizikas, and they deserve those votes as two of the team’s premier penalty-killers and 5v5 scoring chance suppressors.
Pageau is having himself a very solid season at both ends of the rink, and has been one of the Islanders’ most well-rounded individual players this season. He’s well-deserving of the Selke mid-way through the year.
Ted Lindsay Award Winner: Islanders C, Mathew Barzal (204/342 votes, 59.65%)
1. Mathew Barzal – 204 votes (59.7%)
2. Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 46 votes (13.5%)
3. Anders Lee – 32 votes (9.36%)
The Ted Lindsay Award is given to the NHL player deemed most-outstanding by members of the NHL Players’ Association. Eyes On Isles readers have deemed that Islanders player to be Mathew Barzal, and by a pretty large margin too.
This award wasn’t selected via a multiple-choice question, and so fans were allowed to write in their own answers, thus leading to a greater range of selections. But, Barzal still took home the vote quite easily, and it’s deserved. He’s had a number of highlight-reel-worthy moments, including his goal-of-the-year candidate against Buffalo.
Bob Nystrom Award Winner: Islanders LW, Anders Lee (136/346 votes, 39.31%)
1. Anders Lee – 136 votes (39.3%)
2. Matt Martin – 95 votes (27.5%)
3. Casey Cizikas – 41 votes (11.9%)
Captain Anders Lee is the mid-season winner of the Islanders’ Bob Nystrom Award. Lee was an easy pick for this award as the player who most exemplifies leadership, hustle, and dedication.
The Islanders began handing out the Nystrom Award in 1991, and the previous winner from the 2018-19 season, was Casey Cizikas, who finished third in our vote. Cizikas narrowly edged out J.G. Pageau for third place by one vote.
This was another of those votes selected by writing in a player name, so there were some genuinely funny submissions. Someone voted Richard Park, and that gave me a laugh for sure. But, Lee definitely deserved the Nystrom award, so here’s to the captain. He’ll be back better than ever in 2021-22 when the Islanders open UBS Arena.