When the Habs gave members of the media our ballots for the Jacques Beauchamp Trophy, we initially came to a full stop. The trophy is awarded annually to the member of the Canadiens who played a dominant role during the regular season, without earning any particular honor.
There weren't many good candidates. Mark Barberio maybe? Perhaps Sven Andrighetto? What about Mike Condon? Maybe Torrey Mitchell?
Paul Byron, however, seemed to fit the bill. While he didn't exactly play a 'dominant' role with the Habs, he did provide one of the rare silver linings to the season.
Byron was claimed on waivers from the Flames this summer and quickly cemented a role within the team, with 11 goals and 7 assists in 61 games. He was awarded a three-year contract for his efforts.
Byron received the most votes in the race for the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy, earning 122 points in the overall standings ahead of goaltender Mike Condon (118 points) and forward Torrey Mitchell (25 points).
In his first season with the Canadiens, Byron set career highs in goals (11) and games played (61) since the beginning of the 2015-16 season. The 5'8'', 158-lbs forward collected seven assists for a total of 18 points, six penalty minutes and two game-winning goals. He ranks second on the team (first among forwards) with 112 hits. The Ottawa native is tied for sixth in the league (with seven other players) with three shorthanded goals and ranks tied for fifth in the NHL (with two other skaters) with five shorthanded points.
Created in 1981 to honor the memory of the legendary sportswriter who spent most of his professional career covering the Canadiens, the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy was first awarded to Doug Jarvis following the 1981-82 season.