NHL Award Predictions: Three Candidates To Win The Jack Adams

The 2019-20 NHL campaign is less than two weeks away, making it the perfect time to preview what might be ahead.

I’m going to predict each of the major award winners alongside honorable mentions I believe to have a realistic shot.

Today we’re looking at the Jack Adams.

Winner: Rod Brind’Amour – Carolina Hurricanes

Last season Brind’Amour led the Hurricanes to a somewhat surprising playoff berth and helped them enjoy great success once getting there. Though the latter doesn’t factor into voting, the lengthy playoff run most definitely opened a lot of eyes.

Now, Brind’Amour is firmly on everyone’s radar. All he needs to stay there is a strong regular season from the Hurricanes. I think he’ll get it.

The Hurricanes actively added to their roster this off-season, signing Ryan Dzingel and Jake Gardiner to value contracts in free agency, while also acquiring Erik Haula for pennies on the dollar via trade. Those players will help.

Factor in the continued development, or outright promotions, of Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas and there are *a lot* of clear paths to improvement.

I think this team could seriously contend for the Metro Division title. If they do that, Brind’Amour is a good bet to win some hardware.

Honorable mention: Gerard Gallant – Vegas Golden Knights

I am sky-high on Vegas this year. I think they’re going to be one of the best teams in the NHL.

They comfortably made the playoffs last year, posted excellent underlying numbers, and were top-13 in both goals for and against. By all accounts, they were really good.

And they should be better.

Injuries are hard to predict, of course, but it’s probably safe to assume Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty won’t combine to miss 48 games.

They won’t have to deal with a 20-game suspension to Nate Schmidt, one of their best defenders.

The Golden Knights will also get a full season from Mark Stone, an elite two-way winger, and top prospect Cody Glass is a good bet to make the team and contribute right away.

All the pieces are there for Vegas to be a top-notch team in the standings and analytically. They should be attractive to all voters, which bodes well for Gallant’s chances.

Honorable mention: John Hynes – New Jersey Devils

Seemingly every year a coach leads a non-playoff team back to the playoffs and is a finalist for the Jack Adams, if not the outright winner.

I like Hynes’ chances of being that guy.

The Devils were very active – perhaps more so than anybody – adding serious talent to the roster during the summer.

New Jersey drafted likely Calder finalist Jack Hughes 1st overall. They brought over prolific KHL point producer Nikita Gusev and signed perennial 20-goal scorer Wayne Simmonds in free agency. They also traded for former Norris winner P.K. Subban. While those days are likely in the past, Subban has averaged ~50 points per 82 games over the last three seasons. He is still a difference maker.

With all of those pieces, and a healthy Taylor Hall (he played 33 games last year), joining the fray, the Devils have more than enough talent to get back into the playoffs.

I think picking atop the draft and making the dance next season will get a coach a lot of recognition.

info via hockey-reference.com

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