Winnipeg’s Mark Stone (Selke Trophy) was the first Manitoban nominated for an NHL year-end award following the 2020-21 season of play, but Brandon’s Dean Evason is the latest.
The Minnesota Wild head coach had himself a fantastic rebound season at the helm of the former Central Division club. This week, Evason’s accomplishments over the past year earned him a nomination as one of the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach.
Nominated alongside Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour (36-12-8 – 80 PTS) and Florida’s Joel Quenneville (37-14-5 – 79 PTS), the first-year man held a 35-16-5 record for 75 points through 56 games as head coach of the Wild. Taking over midway through 2019-20 on an interim basis, Evason shook the temporary title following lasseason, to which he coached a ‘full year’ this past year.
The Jack Adams Award is presented annually to the coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success. After going 8-4-0 through 12 games to end the abbreviated COVID-19 season in 2019-20, Evason saw his team put together a .670 points percentage this past year, finishing third to just the league-leading Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights.
The 56-year-old helped Minnesota to its highest points percentage in team history, while putting together a 21-5-2 home record at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild also earned a franchise record 11-game home winning streak from January 31 to March 25. Minnesota never lost more than two games in a row on the season.
Joining the Wild as an assistant coach in June of 2018, Evason waiting in the wings until called upon following the firing of Bruce Boudreau last year. In coaching his first full NHL season this past year, the Flin Flon product can become just the 12th coach to win the Jack Adams in his first ‘full season’ behind the bench.
Members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association submitted ballots for the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The Jack Adams Award was presented by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in 1974 in honor of the late Jack Adams, longtime coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. The winner of the Jack Adams Award will be presented during the week of the Stanley Cup Final.