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The second nominee we’ll look at before tonight’s show is the Buffalo Sabres’ defenseman Tyler Myers.
Why He Should Win: Tyler Myers this season truly did something that not many players his age could: at 19 years old, he became a number one defenseman for a playoff team in the National Hockey League.
I cannot overstate this kid’s imposing physical tools. He stands at a towering 6’8″, a monster of a man, and he fills it out well at 222 lbs. He doesn’t use his size to crush the opposition so much as he uses his long reach and impeccable positioning to neutralize the offensive rush in his zone. He was effective in the defensive zone, judging by his +13, which was second among rookies.
On top of that, he’s also a dominant offensive force from the blue line as well. He led all rookies in assists (37) and was just outside the top ten for defenseman scoring league wide with 48 points.
Why He Shouldn’t Win: As good as Tyler Myers’ season was, he had a teammate who was even better. This year, Ryan Miller was the best goaltender in the world. He was the Olympic MVP, and all bets are on that he’ll take home the Vezina Trophy tonight. It makes the job of the defense a lot easier when you’ve got a good goaltender. When you’ve got the best goaltender in the world behind you, it’s not quite as hard to look like a stud.
Conclusion: Still, nothing can take away from Myers’ exceptional rookie season, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him take the trophy tonight. As far as this blog is concerned, I’ve marked him down as the runner-up.