Minnesota Wild’s Dean Evason a finalist for NHL Coach of the Year

Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason on Friday was named a finalist for the NHL Coach of the Year.

The NHL announced Friday that Minnesota Wild coach Dean Evason is one of three finalists for the 2020-21 Jack Adams Award, which is presented annually to the NHL Coach of the Year.

Evason, 56, led the Wild to a 35-16-5 record in a 56-game regular season, his first as the team’s full-time head coach. Evason was the interim coach in the 2019-20 season after the Wild fired Bruce Boudreau. The team earned the second-most wins and team points through 56 games in franchise history. The Wild’s .670 points percentage is also highest in team history.

Evason helped lead the Wild to a 21-5-2 record at Xcel Energy Center in 2020-21, the highest home point percentage (.786) in team history and one of the best home marks in the NHL. They also had a franchise-best 11-game home win streak at one point this season. In Evason’s inaugural season as head coach, the Wild never lost more than two straight games in the regular season.

Evason is the second finalist in Wild franchise history for the Jack Adams Award, joining Jacques LeMaire in 2003. He could become the 12th coach in since the award started in the 1973-74 season to win it in his first season. He joins Rod Brind’Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Joel Quenneville of the Florida Panthers.

Evason is also one of four Wild members to be finalists for 2020-21 awards, joining Kirill Kaprizov, Matt Dumba and Jared Spurgeon.


It came as little surprise, but Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov was recently announced as a finalist for the Calder Trophy, which goes annually to the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Kaprizov, in his first season with the Wild, led the team with 27 goals and 51 points in 55 regular season games. He led the Wild, and NHL rookies, in goals, power-play goals, shots on goal and was tied for fourth with three game-winning goals. His marks for goals and points also set Wild rookie franchise records.

He also had three points against the Vegas Golden Knights in his first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring his first career playoff goal in Game 5.

Kaprizov, the Wild’s first finalist for the Calder Trophy in franchise history, was a fifth round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.


The Minnesota Wild started the season by naming defenseman Jared Spurgeon a captain after Mikko Koivu left the organization in the offseason. Spurgeon was recently named a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which goes to the player who exhibits the highest standard of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct with playing ability.

Spurgeon had 25 points, including seven goals, in 55 regular season games and had three assists in seven playoff games. He led the Wild with 102 blocked shots.


Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was recently announced as a finalist for this year’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which goes annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Dumba had 21 points, including six goals, in 51 regular season games and added one goal and two assists in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dumba is also an executive committee member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which aims to eradicate racism from hockey and give minorities more opportunities to get into the game.

Dumba also raised money for south Minneapolis businesses damaged and looted from civil unrest after the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day in 2020.

The winners of the NHL awards will be announced during the Stanley Cup semifinals and finals.