FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Saturday, April 6, 2019
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes announced today the team awards winners for the 2018-19 NHL season. Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper won the Team MVP Award and the Ganem Jewelers Three Star Award. Clayton Keller earned the Leading Scorer award. Niklas Hjalmarsson captured the Fry's Food Stores Hardest Working Player/Jukka Nieminen Memorial Award, while defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was selected as the Gila River Hotels & Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication to the community.
Kuemper has had a career-best season, posting a record of 27-20-8 with a 2.33 goals against average (GAA) and a .925 save percentage (SV%) to win the Team MVP Award. The 28-year-old goaltender has set career-highs in games played (55), wins (27), shutouts (5) and save percentage (.925). He finished the season ranked sixth in GAA and tied for seventh in SV% in the NHL.
Entering tonight's finale versus the Winnipeg Jets, Kuemper has been selected as a star of the game 19 times this season and was named the first star 10 times to win the Ganem Jewelers Three Stars Award.
Since January 1st, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native posted a 22-9-6 mark and led the NHL with a .933 SV% among goalies that played at least 21 games. His 22 wins since that date are the third-most in the NHL. Entering tonight, Kuemper has started the last 22 games which now ranks as the second longest consecutive games streak by a goaltender in franchise history. The veteran netminder recently was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week (Mar. 25-31) by going 2-0-1 with two shutouts, a 0.65 Goals Against Average and a .979 Save Percentage.
The 20-year-old Keller led the team in scoring with 14-33-47 to capture the Leading Scorer Award for the second consecutive season. Earlier this season, the Chesterfield, Missouri native became the youngest player in Coyotes history to register their first 100 career NHL points. He was also selected to his first ever NHL All-Star game earlier this season.
Hjalmarsson has registered 0-10-10 with 42 penalty minutes (PIM) while playing in all 82 games this season. Entering tonight's game, the 31-year-old defenseman has blocked a career-high 184 shots, which ranked second in the NHL. The veteran defenseman is one of just five players to block 100 shots or more in every season since 2009. Hjalmarsson was selected as the Fry's Food Stores Hardest Working Player/Jukka Nieminen Memorial Award winner by fans who voted at ArizonaCoyotes.com.
For the third consecutive season, Ekman-Larsson earned the Gila River Hotels & Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication, commitment and passion for bettering the lives of those in the community. The 27-year-old captain continues to be very involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale and upon his 8-year signing, made a $125,000 donation (suite and cash) for the Club to utilize throughout the season. The two-time NHL All-Star participates in meet and greets with kids from the Boys and Girls Club after Coyotes home games. This season, he attended the unveiling for the DEK hockey rink with the Boys & Girls Club at Laguna Elementary School. He is the face of league initiatives throughout the year with Hockey Fights Cancer and Hockey is For Everyone. He also supports local causes by utilizing social media to share support for Childhood Cancer Awareness month for Phoenix Children's Hospital, GivingTuesday for HopeKids, Anti-bullying with Playworks and mental health awareness. During his ninth season as a member of the Coyotes, the veteran blueliner participated in all team community events including the annual team hospital visit, Kaboom! playground build, Face-Off Luncheon, golf tournament, and Celebrity Waiter's gala.