Six finalists for Male Player of the Year
by Andrew PODNIEKS|11 JUN 2024
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
The IIHF’s Historical Committee has whittled down the many viable candidates for the 2024 Male Player of the Year to six names. The award, now in its second year, recognizes the players (Male and Female) who best exemplify skill, determination, team success, and sporting character on and off the ice during the preceding season.
The 2024 Men’s finalists are Roman Cervenka (F, CZE), Lukas Dostal (G, CZE), Kevin Fiala (F, SUI), Roman Josi (D, SUI), Erik Karlsson (D, SWE), and John Tavares (F, CAN). Last year’s winner was Connor Bedard (F, CAN).
The criteria are simple. Players must have competed in at least one IIHF tournament at any level during the year (World Championship, U20, or U18) as well as in a domestic league of the highest calibre for that country. The combined performances of the two will determine the winners.
The awards will be voted on by members of the media and appropriate members of the IIHF family. Media will account for 70% of the vote while IIHF Family voting will constitute the other 30%.
At 38 years of age, Cervenka captained Czechia to a gold medal at the Men’s World Championship. He tied for sixth in tournament scoring with 11 points and was a +7. In domestic league play, Cervenka had 40 points in 47 games with Rapperswil (Switzerland).
Dostal was named WM Directorate Best Goalie and was also named to the All-Star Team. He posted a 6-2 record at the Men’s Worlds and recorded three shutouts, including in the quarter-finals and the Gold-Medal Game. In the NHL, Dostal had a 14-23-3 record and a .902 save % with Anaheim Ducks in his first full NHL season.
Fiala was named the Men’s Worlds MVP. As well, he completed the end-of-tournament hat trick by being named IIHF Directorate Best Forward and was also on the All-Star Team. He helped the Swiss win a silver medal, and in the NHL he was tied for 43rd in scoring with 73 points with the Los Angeles Kings (NHL).
Josi was the captain of that Swiss team that won silver for the third time in 11 years. He was also named Directorate Best Defender and was named to the WM All-Star Team on defence. He also played in the NHL in 2023-24, and was 3rd in NHL scoring among defenders (85 points, Nashville Predators (NHL).
Swedish defender Karlsson led Tre Kronor to a bronze medal and tied for sixth in tournament scoring with 11 points. In the NHL, Karlsson posted 56 points with the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL).
Lastly, Tavares was Canada’s captain at the Men’s Worlds, leading them to the bronze-medal game where they fell to Sweden. He also tied for sixth in scoring with 11 points. Tavares was also the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs in ’23-’24, scoring 29 goals and 65 points in the regular season. He also played in the 1st round of NHL playoffs.

The 2024 IIHF Male Player of the Year will be announced on Monday, 17 June at 12pm ET/6pm CEST.