ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - St. Louis Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly has been named one of three finalists for the 2019-20 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. It's awarded annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."
O'Reilly is up against Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.
The 29-year-old Clinton, Ont., native – who previously won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2013-14 (w/ COL) – is a finalist for the award for the third straight season, following second-place finishes in both 2018-19 (w/ STL) and 2017-18 (w/ BUF). He is looking to become the fourth player to capture the trophy with the Blues, joining Phil Goyette (1969-70), Brett Hull (1989-90) and Pavol Demitra (1999-2000).
O'Reilly won the Selke Trophy last season, given annually to the best defensive forward and he took home the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the playoff MVP during the Blues Stanely Cup Championship.
The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals.
Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon ranked fifth in the NHL with 35-58—93 in 69 games, 43 points more than his next-closest teammate, to lead the Avalanche into the playoffs for the third consecutive season. He also placed among the top 10 in the League in power-play points (4th; 31), assists (6th; 58), power-play goals (t-6th; 12), goals (9th; 35) and power-play assists (t-10th; 19), while topping the NHL in shots on goal (318). MacKinnon did so while registering a career-low 12 penalty minutes, the second-fewest among the League’s top 25 scorers; no other NHL forward averaged more time on ice (21:13) in 2019-20 while taking fewer penalties. The 24-year-old Halifax, N.S., native – who earlier this week was named a 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award finalist – is a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the first time. He is seeking to become the third player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to win the award, following O’Reilly in 2013-14 and Joe Sakic in 2000-01.
Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthews finished third in the NHL with a career-high 47 goals, one behind Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy co-winners Alex Ovechkin and David Pastrnak, while also topping the Maple Leafs with a career-best 80 points in 70 games (47-33—80). Matthews – who added personal highs and ranked among the top 10 in the League in shots on goal (4th; 290) and power-play goals (t-6th; 12) – also established a career-low with eight penalty minutes, tied for the fewest among the NHL’s top 100 scorers. He did so while sharing second place in the League in takeaways (78) and ranking eighth among NHL forwards in total time on ice (1,467:52), also both personal bests. The 22-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native – who captured the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2016-17 – is vying to become the eighth different player to win the Lady Byng Trophy with the Maple Leafs and just the second to do so in the expansion era (since 1967-68), following Alexander Mogilny in 2002-03.
Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues
O’Reilly led the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blues with 12-49—61 in 71 games to power the team to the highest points percentage in the Western Conference (.662; 42-19-10). He topped the NHL in both face-off wins (880) and face-offs taken (1,556), ranking 10th among qualifying players with a 56.6 face-off winning percentage. O’Reilly received five minor penalties (10 PIM), the sixth time in his 11 NHL seasons he has totaled 10 or fewer penalty minutes, while ranking seventh in the League in takeaways (69) and 10th among NHL forwards in total time on ice (1,460:45). The 29-year-old Clinton, Ont., native – who previously won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2013-14 (w/ COL) – is a finalist for the award for the third straight season, following second-place finishes in both 2018-19 (w/ STL) and 2017-18 (w/ BUF). He is looking to become the fourth player to capture the trophy with the Blues, joining Phil Goyette (1969-70), Brett Hull (1989-90) and Pavol Demitra (1999-2000).