Auston Matthews is one of the best hockey players on the planet, and he's only 20 years old.
Okay - there's more. For the first time in decades, the PHWA (Professional Hockey Writers Association) has voted on midseason awards in the National Hockey League. They are mostly the same exact awards that are given out at the end of the season for a full-year's effort. This year, they've decided to vote on them half-way through the year as well.
Here's the full list of winners.
No member of the Toronto Maple Leafs figures to be on this list, but it was revealed that Matthews received enough votes to be the runner-up for the Lady Byng trophy, behind Johnny Gaudreau, who's having an incredible season for the Calgary Flames.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who displays the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, all the while playing to an extremely high standard. This typically goes to a player who puts up minimal penalty minutes, all the while putting up tons of points and representing the game in an extremely positive manner.
Gaudreau has 56 points and 10 penalty minutes in 49 games this year, while Matthews has 37 points and 4 penalty minutes in 41 games. It isn't inconceivable that he wins the big trophy at season's end. For now, he'll have to settle for second place at the mid-season point.
In other news, Matthews' road goal against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night further cemented his dominance in one statistical category since entering the league last season.