NHL Awards Watch: Rinne, Gallant poised to earn 1st major honors
Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports

With the 2017-18 regular season in the rearview, it's time for one final look at the major award races around the NHL. The previous edition was assembled prior to the playoff push in early March.

Jack Adams Award - Gerard Gallant, Golden Knights

Previous pick: Gerard Gallant

Leading a group of guys who have played together for years to the playoffs is enough of a challenge, let alone a group that was pieced together less than a year ago. That fact alone should earn Gallant the award.

The Golden Knights didn't just squeak in, either, entering the postseason following a historic 109-point season as Pacific Division champs.

No disrespect to Jared Bednar in Colorado, who has taken the Avalanche from the basement to meaningful springtime hockey, but Gallant is this year's clear-cut winner. Book it. - Livingstone

GM of the Year - George McPhee, Golden Knights

Previous pick: David Poile

While Predators general manager David Poile deserves credit for the moves he's made to build a powerhouse in Nashville, it's difficult not to give this prize to Golden Knights GM George McPhee.

McPhee's built one of the NHL's best teams out of diamonds in the rough and players other GMs didn't want. William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Nate Schmidt ... the list goes on. Perhaps more importantly, he hired the right man to steer the ship in Gallant. - Wegman

Vezina Trophy - Pekka Rinne, Predators

Previous pick: Andrei Vasilevskiy

While there's no denying the Nashville Predators have one of the deepest rosters in the league, Rinne's sensational season has been a major reason the Preds head into the playoffs as favorites to pose with the Cup come June.

Rinne has been rock solid since the puck dropped on the 2017-18 campaign, finishing one win shy of matching his career high (42). The Finnish magician also finished in a tie for the most shutouts with eight and posted a sparkling .927 save percentage. - Livingstone

Calder Trophy - Mathew Barzal, Islanders

Previous pick: Mathew Barzal

Barzal really ran away with this one. The Islanders' dynamic center collected 85 points - 20 more than the next rookie. Canucks phenom Brock Boeser could've given him a run for his money had he stayed healthy, but this year's Calder is a no-brainer. - Wegman

Norris Trophy - Victor Hedman, Lightning

Previous pick: Victor Hedman

The Norris Trophy doesn't always go to the best all-around defenseman, as stellar offensive campaigns have recently earned the hardware for guys like Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. But Hedman really can do it all. Points, hits, blocked shots - he gets it done at both ends of the ice for the Lightning while logging a beastly amount of minutes per night (25:51).

Hedman played an instrumental role in Tampa Bay clinching its first division title since 2004. And despite there being a handful of deserving rearguards, his ability to get the job done in his own end as well as offensively makes him our pick for the Norris. - Livingstone

Selke Trophy - Aleksander Barkov, Panthers

Previous pick: Patrice Bergeron

Barkov finished second among forwards in average time on ice, played against opponents' top lines and D pairings night in and night out, finished fifth in the league in takeaways, won 53.5 percent of his faceoffs, and even scored a league-high five shorthanded goals.

Bergeron, who missed 18 games, and Anze Kopitar should again garner strong consideration, but Barkov is most deserving. - Wegman

Hart Trophy - Taylor Hall, Devils

Previous pick: Nikita Kucherov

The Hart Trophy is given to the player "judged most valuable to his team," and nobody epitomized that more than Taylor Hall. He had 41 more points than the next-closest Devils player as he carried them to the playoffs.

Related - Hart Trophy Power Rankings: Many deserving candidates, but Hall stands out

Strong arguments can be made for Nathan MacKinnon, Claude Giroux, and Kopitar, but Hall putting his team on his back down the stretch puts him a notch above everyone else. - Wegman

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

NHL Awards Watch: Rinne, Gallant poised to earn 1st major honors
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