87. LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-6)
LAST SEASON: In breakthrough year for long-suffering franchise Josh Jackson Packers Jersey , Rams snapped streaks of 13 consecutive non-winning seasons and 12 straight non-playoff seasons by winning NFC West under first-year coach Sean McVay. Los Angeles went from worst to first in league in scoring with dynamic offense led by Offensive Player of Year Todd Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff, whose solid sophomore NFL season proved Rams weren't wrong to trade up in 2016 to grab him. Coordinator Wade Phillips' solid unit was led by Defensive Player of Year Aaron Donald, and though defense came up short in handful of late-season games, it has strong base around dominant defensive lineman. Los Angeles also had NFL's best special-teams units, with Pro Bowlers at every skill position. Turnaround season ended quickly with home playoff loss to postseason-tested Atlanta.
THEY NEED: LB, DL, OL, WR.
THEY DON'T NEED: QB, RB, DB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: T Brian O'Neill, Pittsburgh; LB Tegray Scales, Indiana; LB-DE Rasheem Green Blake Swihart Jersey , Southern California; LB Shaquem Griffin, UCF.
OUTLOOK: For second straight year, Rams don't have first-round pick. They sent this one to New England for WR Brandin Cooks, and they'll be thrilled if Cooks becomes No. 1 deep threat as expected. They also don't have second-round pick, sent to Buffalo last summer for Sammy Watkins, last season's deep threat. Rams can only look for depth in draft, most obvious hole is in middle of defense after trading top tackler Alec Ogletree to New York Giants so they could fit veteran CB Aqib Talib under salary cap. Los Angeles needs tackle machine at linebacker, along with depth on D-line to supplement big stars.
Taylor Hall doesn’t love public speaking, and the New Jersey Devils forward’s nervousness grew while the NHL Awards show moved along.
But after Hall and the hockey world watched moving tributes to the Humboldt Broncos and the victims of two mass shootings, he was ready to accept the Hart Trophy with the proper perspective.
”It’s not all about you,” Hall said. ”It’s not all about winning awards. It’s about enjoying life and doing what you love.”
Hall was named the NHL’s most valuable player Wednesday night, becoming the first New Jersey player to win the award after edging Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon in a close vote.
The hometown Vegas Golden Knights also went home with four trophies in recognition of their incredible expansion season from a celebratory and occasionally somber evening at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Hall Youth Josh Rosen Jersey , who finished sixth in the league with 93 points, beat out fellow first-time Hart finalists MacKinnon and Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles. Hall got 72 first-place votes and 1,264 total points in the voting, while MacKinnon got 60 first-place votes and 1,194 points.
Hall likely got the nod over two worthy contenders because of the way he carried the Devils offensively while they rebounded from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference and reached the playoffs for the first time in five years. Hall put together a 26-game points streak during the season, and he finished with 41 more points than rookie Nico Hischier, New Jersey’s second-leading scorer.
”If there is one thing I’m proud of, it’s to be the first Devil to win MVP,” Hall said. ”At the start of the season, people wrote us off. People have wrote me off, and it feels pretty good standing up here now.”
Indeed, the award is a sweet validation for Hall Kolton Miller Youth Jersey , who was traded by Edmonton to New Jersey for defenseman Adam Larsson just two years ago. The Oilers gave up on the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, but Hall never gave up on reaching his potential.
He reached it on the Devils’ top line with Hischier, forming a potent scoring tandem with the Swiss rookie.
”I was a good player for a long time, and I feel what really brought me to the next level was being in Jersey, playing with my teammates, drafting Nico No. 1 overall and getting to play with him as a centerman all season long,” Hall said. ”I think probably the biggest reason why I’m up here today is No. 13 (Hischier) on my team, and the trust that (general manager) Ray Shero and (coach) John Hynes have put in me.”
While Hall closed the show with the biggest trophy, the Golden Knights were big winners as well.
Coach Gerard Gallant won the Jack Adams Award, and George McPhee was named the NHL’s general manager of the year in recognition of the Knights’ immediate growth into champions of the Pacific Division and the Western Conference.
High-scoring Knights forward William Karlsson won the Lady Byng Trophy for the player best combining sportsmanship and ability. Defenseman Deryk Engelland also won the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for his actions during his team’s breakthrough season in the wake of the shooting massacre on the Las Vegas Strip shortly before their first game.
”It’s been a remarkable season,” Engelland said. ”(We had) a great group of guys. They did a tremendous job putting the group together. For myself, I know there’s a lot of other guys in our locker room that could be here right now in my place. It’s just an honor Authentic Brandon McCarthy Jersey , and once we look back on the season, it’s pretty special.”
Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman won his first Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman, while New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal won the Calder Trophy in a landslide as the league’s top rookie.
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne won his first Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie, while Kopitar won his second Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
Connor McDavid won the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s most outstanding player in a vote of the players’ union membership, but the Edmonton Oilers star was not a finalist for the Hart, which he won last year.
New Jersey veteran Brian Boyle won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey after putting together an All-Star season in the wake of his cancer diagnosis and healthy problems for his young son.
The NHL also welcomed the survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash onto the stage late in the show for an emotional tribute. Darcy Haugan, the late coach of the Broncos, was honored with the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award.
Gallant was an obvious choice over Colorado’s Jared Bednar and Boston’s Bruce Cassidy after he masterminded the most spectacular expansion season in recent sports history. The Golden Knights went 51-24-7 and handily won the Pacific Division before winning 13 postseason games and reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their first playoff campaign.
Engelland was honored for his leadership and contributions to society. The veteran defenseman already was a Las Vegas resident when the Golden Knights acquired him, and he emerged as a public face of the team during its inspirational performances in the wake of the shooting.
Kopitar was named the NHL’s top defensive forward for the second time in three years after a standout all-around season.
Hedman beat out Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty for the Norris after scoring 17 goals and racking up a plus-32 rating in another dominant season for the Lightning.
Barzal was the runaway winner of the Calder after scoring 85 points in 82 games for the.