June 22 is an important day in Washington Capitals history.
Two of the franchise’s greatest players won NHL Awards for the first time while the Caps drafted two bonafide stars in the 2012 NHL Draft – one of which is still with the team.
6/22/06 – Ovechkin bests Crosby for Calder
During the 2005-06 season, Alex Ovechkin, the first pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, played in his first NHL season along with the 2005 first overall pick, Sidney Crosby. It began a decade-plus rivalry. In his rookie season, Ovechkin absolutely went off, becoming only the second rookie in NHL history to score 50 goals and record 100 points in a season.
Ovechkin received Calder Trophy at the NHL Awards after impressing more than Crosby (39 goals and 102 points).
This Date @Capitals History (June 22, 2006)
Alex Ovechkin became first player in #ALLCAPS history to win the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. Ovi led all rookies with 52G/106PTS
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) June 22, 2020
To this day, Ovechkin is the only player in NHL history to win a Calder Trophy, a Hart Trophy, a Maurice Richard Trophy, a Ted Lindsay Award, an Art Ross Trophy, and a Conn Smythe Trophy. The Calder was the first.
CAPS TODAY: Alex Ovechkin, who is celebrating a birthday today, is the only player in NHL history with a Calder Trophy, a Hart Trophy, a Maurice Richard Trophy, a Ted Lindsay Award, an Art Ross Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy. More information on https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/Pn4qlUvAjd
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) September 17, 2018
6/22/12 – Caps draft Filip Forsberg and Tom Wilson
On June 22, 2012, the Washington Capitals made two big selections in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft held in Pittsburgh. George McPhee, while fielding loud boos from the Pens crowd, drafted Filip Forsberg, who slipped down the draft board to number 11. (The Caps would later trade Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat, which is considered one of the worst trades in NHL history.)
But (!!!) five spots later, the Capitals selected man child Tom Wilson out of the OHL Plymouth Whalers.
Six years later, Wilson would play on the Capitals’ first line, along with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, that helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup.
— MonumentalSportsNet (@MonSportsNet) June 22, 2020
To this day, Penguins fans still hate Wilson.
6/22/16 – Braden Holtby wins Vezina Trophy
Finally, on June 22, 2016, Braden Holtby won his first NHL Award, the Vezina Trophy, as the league’s best goaltender.
Here’s the press release from the Capitals that day:
The National Hockey League announced today that Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is the recipient of the 2015-16 Vezina Trophy, which is an annual award given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs.
Holtby is the third goaltender in Capitals franchise history to win the Vezina Trophy, joining Jim Carey (1995-96) and Olie Kolzig (1999-00). Holtby, 26, posted a 48-9-7 record this season with three shutouts, a 2.20 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. The 6’2”, 217-pound goaltender earned his 48th win of the season on April 9 at St. Louis, tying Martin Brodeur (48, 2006-07) for first place on the NHL’s single-season wins list. Holtby (66 games played) secured his 48th win of the season in 12 fewer games than Brodeur (78 games played).
Holtby’s 48 wins also mark the Capitals franchise record for wins in a season, breaking the previous record (41) set by himself last season and Olie Kolzig in 1999-00. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native posted a 22-game point streak from Nov. 12 to Jan. 14 (20-0-2), marking the second-longest point streak by a goaltender in franchise history and only the second point streak of 22 or more games in the NHL in the last 20 seasons. Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore posted a franchise-record 23-game point streak during the 2009-10 season (20-0-3). In addition, Holtby was the first goaltender to win 27 games in a 32-game stretch (11/12-2/11: 27-1-3) since 1995-96, when Chris Osgood did so with the Red Wings (11/22/95-3/20/96: 27-3-2). He is the 13th goaltender in NHL history to post multiple 40-win seasons (2014-15: 41, 2015-16: 48) and is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons.
Holtby has posted a 149-60-25 record with 23 shutouts, a 2.37 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 244 career NHL games with Washington. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, he ranks first among NHL goaltenders in wins (135) and tied for second in shutouts (20). Holtby, drafted by Washington in the fourth round, 93rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft, was the 10th goaltender selected in the 2008 NHL Draft. He has earned more wins and shutouts than the nine goaltenders drafted before him combined. In addition, Holtby is the third goaltender in franchise history to register 100 wins with the Capitals (Kolzig, Don Beaupre) and became the fastest goaltender in franchise history to reach the 100-win plateau, earning the mark in 176 games. He ranks tied for third among active goaltenders in fewest games needed to reach 100 career wins and his 118 wins through his first 200 career games ranks first among active goaltenders. Holtby ranks first in franchise history in save percentage, tied for first in goals-against average, second in wins and shutouts and third in games played.
Headline photo courtesy of @Capitals
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