Which New York Rangers players could win NHL awards in 2023-24
The New York Rangers are about to begin another exciting season. As always, that means a new beginning for every player on the roster and a chance to etch their name into the NHL record books by winning a prestigious award.
For New York to remain one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and the NHL, it will be time for a handful of the players on this list to step up and win some hardware.
New York Rangers potential award winners
At 28 years-old, Igor Shesterkin is hitting his stride and, with his next win, will become the eighth netminder in franchise history to collect 100 victories. He’s set to begin his fifth season in the NHL and is a onetime Vezina Trophy winner (2022).
In a jammed pack Eastern Conference, Shesterkin must have a stellar season and clean up at the NHL awards show in the spring, to propel the Blueshirts. Realistically, he’s one of the best goalies in the world and should gather votes for the Vezina for the third straight season, with a solid shot at becoming the first Rangers netminder with two on his mantle.
Although he is a long shot, he could capture the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award as one of the most valuable players in the league. Although goalies don’t usually take home those awards regularly, Shesterkin did finish third in Hart Trophy voting in 2021.
Furthermore, Shesterkin and his backup, Jonathan Quick could combine to give up the fewest goals in the regular season, winning the William M. Jennings Trophy. Of course, many people will scoff at these predictions, but thus far, Shesterkin has proven capable of leading a team to the Eastern Conference Final and claiming one of the higher seeds in the division.
Ultimately, if the Rangers are going to win the Stanley Cup in June, the Russian-born goalie would have to carry the team to the finish line, being the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Adam Fox is already a Norris Trophy winner (2021) in just four NHL seasons at 25 years of age. Additionally, he’s finished fourth in the Calder Trophy voting in 2020 and recently finished fifth (2022) and second (2023) in the Norris Trophy voting.
As one of the premier young defenders in the NHL, there’s a good chance that Fox will be a finalist for the top defenseman award for at least the next decade. Furthermore, barring another historical year (Erik Karlsson 102 points), Fox is a favorite to become the 14th rearguard to win at least two Norris Trophies in their career.
Even though Fox only finished in the top ten in goals and points by a defenseman, he was second on the Rangers with a plus-28 rating and the third most power play points behind Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. Ultimately, his stellar play is a significant reason why New York was one of 12 teams with 100 points last year.
Surprisingly, Peter Laviolette has never won the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year, despite guiding the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup title in 2006. Furthermore, he was the architect behind the Philadelphia Flyers’ last appearance in the Final (2010) and the man who guided the Nashville Predators to their only chance at a ring in 2017.
After 1,430 games in the NHL, Laviolette has earned a 752-503-25-150 record in the regular season with 78 wins and 76 losses in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Statistically, since becoming a head coach in 2001-02 with the New York Islanders, he’s had two losing seasons on his resume, one in 2003-04 with Carolina and most recently with the Washington Capitals in 2022-23.
As the new head coach of the Rangers, he’s got an excellent team to manage, and if they improve upon last year’s record and finish, Laviolette has a good chance of winning his first Jack Adams Award.
Even though most fans would love to see Artemi Panarin win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s scorer, the Russian winger has yet to crack 100 points in his career. Furthermore, there has yet to be a leading scorer with less than 100 points since Jamie Benn (87) in 2014-15.
Realistically, Panarin has a solid chance of reaching the Century Point club and capturing the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy instead. Interestingly, for the seven years of his career, he earned some votes for the Lady Byng, but after a career-high 36 penalty minutes in 2022-23, he didn’t receive a single vote last year.
Of course, it is going to be rather challenging to stay out of the sin bin like the previous three winners, Anze Kopitar (four minutes), Kyle Connor (four minutes), and Jaccob Slavin (two minutes), but anything is possible during the new season. Although he would be considered a long shot, Panarin could be so occupied with reaching 100 points that he refrains from taking unnecessary penalties and keeps driving the Rangers to a top spot in the Eastern Conference.