Ryan O’Reilly and Nathan MacKinnon reflect on NHL awards for Avalanche – The Denver Post

The Avalanche won three of the four NHL individual awards it was nominated for in Las Vegas, but that was 24 hours ago.

Nathan MacKinnon is already back in training for next season – and looking for a bigger trophy.

“It was something I wanted to get,” said MacKinnon on Wednesday at the Pepsi Center of winning the Calder Trophy for NHL Rookie of the Year. “Regardless of whether I had won or not, I would not have changed anything about my season.

“You want to achieve something better as a team.”

Little did MacKinnon know at 18 that he was the youngest player to win the Calder Trophy. He credited his teammates and the organization for helping him win the honor.

“You have some kind of speech in your head, but you never know,” MacKinnon said if he would need it. “You can’t really enjoy it because you’re like, ‘Oh, crap. I need to speak in front of all of these people. ‘”

Ryan O’Reilly, who won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for the player who best demonstrated a high level of athleticism, did not reveal any new details about his contract situation.

“It is what it is, the business part,” he said. “We’re going to go through it this summer, and it should resolve sometime soon.”

O’Reilly was penalized just two minutes throughout the season after playing the puck with a broken stick in his 72nd game of the season.

Winning the award was a mixture of luck – including a few times he said he should have been punished – and the influence of his parents who encouraged him to play hickey intensely and passionately at an early age, and others in the process Respect players.

“You told me you were very proud,” said O’Reilly. “Winning this is a tribute to you for everything you showed me and I am proud to be your son.”

O’Reilly said the three awards were in credit of the first year management and coaching culture change, Patrick Roy.

“We changed the culture,” said O’Reilly, “with everything management has done, with (Patrick) changing teams and Nate (MacKinnon) being the big factor that he was.” I think people will notice. We are a team that competes and we will have a good chance of winning.

“When I go to the awards and be among the top players in the game, I feel like I can be a bigger factor and contribute more. It’s a confidence boost. ”

Roy, who won the Jack Adams Award for NHL Coach of the Year, was not present for the media, nor was Av’s goalkeeper Semyon Varlamov, who finished second in the Vezina Trophy and voted for best goalkeeper. Roy became the first coach to win the Jack Adams Award in his first NHL season behind the bench since Washington’s Bruce Boudreau in 2008.

Daniel Petty: 303-954-1081, dpetty@denverpost.com or twitter.com/danielpetty

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