PUCKHEADS GET READY TO RIDE THE LIGHTNING

New Year, Same Lightning. In fact, Tampa Bay may even be improving as of now. Not only are they the favorites to raise the Stanley Cup according to the NHL odds and the majority of hockey fans, but they’re also packed with talented players and looking to take home as many awards as they can.

Nikita Kucherov

The 24-year-old Russian has been proving, since the beginning of the season, that he should have been picked on the first-round of the NHL draft. Kucherov’s pedal-to-the-metal playstyle has him at the top of the points-scored leaderboard with 57 points and 26 goals as of today. Lightning #86 is, by far, the favorite to win the Art Ross Trophy this season, giving Tampa Bay fans another reason to be extra happy coming into 2018.

Andrei Vasilevskiy

An even younger Russian has been icing the competition as well. Andrei Vasilevskiy is, by far, Tampa Bay’s most prized goalkeeper. We’re talking about a kid who’s had a Stanley Cup before even turning 21. Ridiculous! To no one’s surprise, Vasilevskiy has great odds of winning the Vezina Trophy along with Sergei Bobrovsky from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Vasilevskiy is the god of denying goals and will continue to do so for the Lightning until he gets his hands on another Cup this season.

Victor Hedman

We know what you’re thinking. There’s no way Victor is getting his hands on any awards, not even the James Norris Trophy with Los Angeles King’s Drew Doughty in the way. On top of that, the Lightning has never had a player win the James Norris in the past, but Tampa Baise gaining momentum and the 27-year-old Swede is ready to prove that ball Lightning is more than just a myth. Good luck getting through this defense in the upcoming games. Hedman is going for that trophy.

Mikhail Sergachev

We’re closing out this list with yet another young Russian in 19-year-old Mikhail Sergachev. Oddsmakers have set up the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser and the New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal as the favorites to be this year’s rookie of the year and take home the Calder Memorial Trophy, leaving Sergachev with 5 times worse odds than Boeser. However, there is still plenty of the regular season left and if we’ve learned something from what we’ve seen so far is that the Lightning won’t stop anytime soon.