World Hockey Championship Group B match: Czech Republic – Norway, May 20, 2023, Riga. Dominik Kubalík from the Czech Republic celebrates his goal.
Zurich – Czech forward Dominik Kubalík is among the seven candidates for the Player of the Year award, which is newly awarded by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). One of the aspirants for the award is the Canadian super talent Connor Bedard, practically a sure number one pick in this year's NHL draft. The IIHF announced this on the website today. Winners will be announced on Monday, June 19.
Candidates for the new individual award were selected by a commission of IIHF historians. The nomination also includes Swiss forward Andres Ambühl, forward Adam Fantilli, who became a world champion in Tampere with Canada and should come to the NHL draft right after Bedard, Latvian goalkeeper Arturs Šilovs and German silver medalists from the World Cup John Peterka and Moritz Seider .
The 27-year-old Kubalík became the top scorer of the recent world championships in Finland and Latvia with eight goals and was also included in the All Star team as voted by accredited journalists. With 12 points from eight games, the Detroit forward was the second most productive player behind the American Rocco Grimaldi and appeared among the awardees as the only player from teams that were already eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Only those players can apply for the new trophy. who will participate in at least one IIHF event during the season (Olympic Games or Senior or Junior World Championships). At the same time, they must play in the highest national league competition.
Journalists and representatives of the so-called IIHF family will decide the winner. At the same time, they can vote not only from the seven finalists, but if they think that someone else deserves the award, they can write his name.
Already at the beginning of June, the first winner of the award among female hockey players was announced, who became the captain of the world champions Hilary Knight. The 33-year-old attacker led the American women to their ninth title in mid-April, contributing eight goals to the gold medal, including three in the final against the host nation, Canada.