Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor is a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

The list of NHL major award-winning players in the 1.0 and 2.0 eras of the Winnipeg Jets is a very short one. But there is an excellent chance that Kyle Connor will join that exclusive group in 2022.

Dale Hawerchuk won the Calder Memorial trophy as the NHL’s top rookie for the 1981-82 season, a feat that was repeated by Teemu Selanne in 1992-93. And Connor’s teammate Connor Hellebuyck was named the Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s outstanding netminder in 2019-20.

Former Jet Randy Carlyle won the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in 1980-81, but as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In a non-playing category, Tom Watt and Bob Murdoch were honoured as Jack Adams Award winners for Coach of The Year during the 1981-82 and 1989-90 seasons respectively,

As expected, Connor has been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy which is given to the player who best exhibits outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

2021 winner Jaccob Slavin of Carolina and Minnesota Wild Captain Jared Spurgeon are the other finalists.

This year’s award winners will be announced on the off day between games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in the city hosting those games.

The 25-year-old Michigan native set Jets 2.0 franchise single season marks with 47 goals and 93 points while taking just four minutes in penalties.

Read more:

Connor’s 47th goal rallies Winnipeg Jets to season-ending win over Seattle

It would be somewhat ironic if the awards presentations were to take place in Edmonton. The Alberta capital was where the Jets sniper took one of his two minor penalties this season.  Connor was assessed a slashing minor against Oilers captain Connor McDavid in the second period of Winnipeg’s Nov. 18 2-1 shootout loss at Rogers Place.

The only other occasion this season that Connor spent time in the penalty box was for a first period hooking minor on Matt Barzal of the Islanders on March 11 at UBS Arena that prevented a dangerous goal scoring opportunity for the Isles center.

Staying out of the sin bin has been nothing new for Connor. He has been assessed just 88 PIM’s in 384 career NHL games.

“I don’t think anybody wants to take a penalty or put their team down on a penalty kill with all the power plays, talented top-end guys,” Connor said during an April 19th media Zoom call when he was asked for the first time about his chances of winning the Lady Byng.

“There are some good power plays out there. For me, from that standpoint it’s not like I’m looking to change the way I play, it’s just how I play. It’s always been in my game to play that way. Not looking to take any penalties is just how I play.”

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