With this being the final home game of a magical, unbelievable inaugural season, the Vegas Golden Knights handed out their year-end awards. The three awards, passed to those who stood out on the team in a number of ways, were given to the players who excelled both on and off the ice.
William Karlsson won both the Seventh Player award, given to the player whose performance most exceeded expectations, which was voted on by fans, and the First Star award, given to the player who won the most votes in Three Star voting game-by-game.
The first award is to be expected, as Karlsson went from a third line center with the Columbus Blue Jackets, netting only six goals and 25 points last season, to being in the Rocket Richard conversation for the best goal scorer in the NHL. He’s centering one of the best lines in hockey, has the league lead in plus/minus and has scored 75 points this season, including a whopping 42 goals.
Considering he added at least one point in 50 out of 78 games, the First Star award makes a ton of sense as well.
Deryk Engelland won the Vegas Strong Service award, given to the player most involved in giving back to the Las Vegas community.
From his speech before the first ever Vegas Golden Knights home game to his work within the Las Vegas community, Engelland has been the city’s embodiment on the Golden Knights’ roster this season. The award could not have gone to anyone else, nor anyone more suited for it.
Although, if we’re being honest, aren’t we all winners this glorious day? After all, who loses when this happens?