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Karlsson Is Lindsay Award Finalist

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Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The players have spoken.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award, along with the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid and the Boston Bruins’ David Pastrnak.

“The award is given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players’ Association,” according to the league.

Karlsson, the favorite for the Norris Trophy for the best defenseman in the NHL, scored 101 points, pacing the position. The San Jose Sharks star became the first blueliner to hit the century mark in points since Brian Leetch in 1991-92.

Karlsson had 25 more points than second-place Josh Morrissey and Quinn Hughes. His offensive production wasn’t just impressive for a defenseman: His 64 5-on-5 points was second in the NHL to center Nathan MacKinnon’s 65, and 22 more than second-place defenseman Vince Dunn.

Karlsson is a first-time finalist and would be the first San Jose Sharks player to win the award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award.

McDavid, however, is the favorite to take the Lindsay home, along with the Hart Trophy for MVP. He’s a three-time Lindsay winner in 2017, 2018, and 2021.

The Oilers center led the NHL with 153 points, 25 more than teammate Leon Draisaitl’s 128. For what it’s worth, McDavid’s impressive 16.3 percent lead in points over runner-up Draisaitl pales in comparison to Karlsson’s 24.8 percent edge over second-place defensemen Morrissey and Hughes.

Pastrnak, like Karlsson, is a first-time finalist. He was second in the NHL with 61 goals, just behind McDavid’s 64. Pastrnak also had 113 points, third in the league, and tied with Nikita Kucherov for the most among right wingers.

The NHL Awards will be announced on Jun. 26 in Nashville.

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