After their best season in franchise history, several members of the Winnipeg Jets could be bringing home some hardware Wednesday night.
The NHL Awards take place Wednesday in Las Vegas and it could mark the first time a member of the Jets has won a league award since the club moved back to Winnipeg.
Connor Hellebuyck is one of three nominees for the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL’s top goaltender. Hellebuyck set a record for most wins by an American goaltender last season with 44, while recording a .924 save percentage and a 2.36 goals against average. Other finalists include Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne.
Captain Blake Wheeler is up for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership award, an honour given to the player who shows great leadership qualities on and off the ice. Wheeler is up against Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers and Deryk Engelland from the Vegas Golden Knights.
And GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is one of three finalists for the General Manager of the Year award after a season in which the Jets won 52 regular season games, recorded 114 points and made it all the way to the Western Conference Final. The other finalists are George McPhee from Vegas and Steve Yzerman from Tampa Bay.
Schedule unveiled Thursday
Fans will soon know when the Jets will hit the ice next season. The NHL will release the date for next season’s home opener at noon on Wednesday before the full schedule comes out at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The Jets already know when two of those games will be, as they’ll head overseas for a pair of contests in Helsinki, Finland on Nov. 1 and 2 against the Florida Panthers.
NHL Draft Friday
The Jets have six picks in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, which goes Friday and Saturday in Dallas. Their first selection won’t come until the second round (60th overall) after they traded their first-round pick this year to the St. Louis Blues in the Paul Stastny deal. The Jets have six draft picks in total.