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Rockets Alum Leon Draisaitl named Ted Lindsay Award finalist

Edmonton Oilers centre and Kelowna Rockets alum Leon Draisaitl was announced as one of three finalists for the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) on Tuesday morning.

The Ted Lindsay Award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, is awarded “to the most outstanding player in the NHL” as voted by NHLPA members.

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon and New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin are the other two finalists.

Draisaitl, a 24-year-old product of Cologne, Germany, racked up 110 points (43G-67A) in 71 games played this past season to claim the Art Ross Trophy. The 110 points were career-high for the 6-foot-2, 207-pound forward, whose previous career mark of 105 points came during the 2018-19 NHL campaign.

Draisaitl traded to the Kelowna Rockets during the 2014-15 season. The German forward posted 53 points (19G-32A) in only 32 regular-season games as a Rocket. Draisaitl’s injection of offence helped the Rockets secure a second-place finish in the WHL’s overall standings with a record of 53-13-5-1 (112 points).

From there, Draisaitl and the Rockets tore up the WHL post-season. With 28 points (10G-18A) in 19 playoff contests, Draisaitl was named WHL Playoff MVP as the Rockets captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup, sweeping the Brandon Wheat Kings in four games. Though the Rockets eventually fell in overtime to the Oshawa Generals in the Memorial Cup championship, Draisaitl continued to have his way with opponents, registering seven points (4G-3A) in five games to lead the tournament in scoring en route to being presented with the Stafford Smythe Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP.

The 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award recipient will be announced during the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ Conference Finals.

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