logo

The 2024 Canucks Army Awards

alt
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Lachlan Irvine
13 days ago
NHL Awards season brings some of the most contentious debates in the sport every single season, and this year the Vancouver Canucks are actually front and centre on the ballots.
Rick Tocchet has already won the Jack Adams as coach of the year, Thatcher Demko is the likely runner-up to Connor Hellebuyck for the Vezina Trophy, and barring massive election fraud, Quinn Hughes will become the first Vancouver Canucks defenceman to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best blueliner.
But those trophies are voted on by PHWA members and NHL GMs, hockey’s own electoral college. But if Mark Messier can make up his own award to hand out to whoever he wants, surely I can, too.
Back in 2020, I created a series of awards that focused on the smaller moments of the season; the impacts players made at key moments to get the Canucks into a competitive position before COVID shut the world down. With the pandemic only on month three of lockdown and a desperate need to fill for time before the August bubble playoffs, the Lach in the Crease Awards were born.
Now, four seasons later, they make their return on a different website, with some new names and new winners. If you want to pitch your own ideas for trophies for next season’s iteration, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Don’t worry; there’s no dress code for today’s awards show.

The Mats Sundin Trophy

Awarded to the best player who joined the Canucks midseason (through trade or signing).
Winner: Nikita Zadorov
Nikita Zadorov endeared himself to the Canucks’ fanbase in more ways than one. He talked trash about Alberta, made thunderous hits and scored some key goals in the postseason.

Failed to load video.

Zadorov arrived in Vancouver as a much-needed depth defender, often being paired up with Tyler Myers and providing support on both sides of the ice and ended up as the people’s champion in the playoffs, notching eight points in 13 playoff games.
Zadorov’s time with the Canucks could very well be over already as a pending UFA, but if fans have their way, he’ll be back in green and blue for years, cost be dammed. After all, everybody needs a Zaddy.
Honourable mention: Elias Lindholm

The West Coast Express Trophy

Awarded to best forward line of the season.
Winners: Dakota Joshua, Teddy Blueger and Conor Garland (“The Good Job Boys”)
Was there any other choice?
One of the most stunning revelations of the season was the midseason emergence of the Canucks’ third line, centred by Teddy Blueger between Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua. Whether you call them the ‘Good Job Boys’ or ‘Corolla Garland and the Toyota Line,’ you also had to call them great.
The trio first found their footing in December and put together a scoring punch that, at times, rivalled even the likes of J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson’s lines. Blueger matched his career high in points, Joshua surpassed his, and Garland had his third straight 45+ point season. And for a team whose fatal flaw in recent years has been a lack of secondary scoring, that revelation couldn’t have come at a better time.
With both Blueger and Joshua due for new contracts this season, the Good Job Boys are almost guaranteed to end up as a product of one fun season. So let this award be a reminder of their year that was. Good job, boys.

The Cody Hodgson Trophy

Awarded to the Canuck with the best individual performance of the season.
Winner: Brock Boeser (Oct. 11 vs. EDM)
There were so many memorable games by different Canucks throughout this season, but no game proved to be as amazing an omen as Brock Boeser’s four goals on opening night against the Oilers.

Failed to load video.

Maybe no one believed this iteration of Game #1 would translate into a 40-goal season. But once the third goal banked off of Boeser’s leg and in behind Jack Campbell, you had a feeling something magic was brewing.
Boeser’s whole 2023-24 was one to remember, blowing his previous personal bests in goals and points out of the water during the regular season and taking on a leading role in the playoffs. If not for a blood clot being found in his leg before Game 7 against the Oilers and ending his season prematurely, it’s worth wondering if the Canucks would still be playing games today.
But given everything he went through during the previous couple of seasons, he’s sure earned his flowers for this one.
Honourable mentions: Pius Suter (Jan. 24 vs. STL), Brock Boeser (Apr. 28 vs. NSH), Thatcher Demko (Dec. 14 vs. FLA)

The Farmies Award

Formerly the Nikolay Goldobin Award, this trophy is awarded to the best AHL call-up of the season (minimum 20 AHL games).
Winner: Arturs Silovs
If we had handed out this award after the regular season, this trophy would’ve probably gone to Nils Aman. But after the playoffs, no one has earned this victory more than “King Arturs” Silovs.
Silovs was thrust into the spotlight after Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith got hurt within the first three games against the Predators, and he absolutely seized his opportunity. Silovs’ record of 5-5 and save percentage of .898 were nothing spectacular, but he came up clutch when the Canucks needed him the most. In Game 6 against the Predators, Silovs pitched a 1-0 shutout to clinch the series and then went on to win to push the Oilers to the brink in Game 7.
Silovs play has undoubtedly earned him the opportunity to become Thatcher Demko’s backup next season, proving that the Utica/Abbotsford to Vancouver goalie pipeline is indeed alive and well.
Honourable mentions: Nils Aman, Vasily Podkolzin

The Roberto Luongo Trophy

Awarded to the player whose skill and effort makes the largest impact on the present day team and the franchise’s future.
Winner: Quinn Hughes
When I handed out the inaugural Luongo Trophy back in 2020, I wrote this:
Obviously, no one can predict the future. But in those rare cases when a player that’s capable of potentially changing a team’s trajectory for the better makes his debut, you know it instantaneously.
A lot has changed about the Canucks in the last four years, but we sure knew what Quinn Hughes was going to become. And he just keeps getting better.
Hughes retains his Luongo Trophy title as a first-year captain who broke the Canucks’ single-season record for points by a defenceman for the third straight season and is likely preparing to accept the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defender. Hughes has grown up a lot in the last few years and somehow still found a whole other level to his game as a 24-year-old.
 

Failed to load video.

Hughes had the benefit of a much better blue line around him this season compared to years past, but this season he took over games at both ends of the ice and pushed the Canucks farther into the playoffs despite playing through injuries and fatigue.
How many more times will Hughes reset a team benchmark in the next few years is anybody’s guess, but make no mistake: this season was just the appetizer for Quinn and the Canucks. The main course is still on the way.
Honourable mentions: Thatcher Demko, J.T. Miller

Check out these posts...