Prince of Wales Trophy Champions Logos

The Prince of Wales Trophy is awarded annually to the playoff champion of the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference. The winner of the Prince of Wales Trophy immediately advances to the Stanley Cup Final to face the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl Champions.

The trophy was donated to the NHL during the 1925/26 season by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) and was initially presented to the winner of the first game played at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 1925. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Americans in the game to claim the first trophy and subsequently engraved themselves as champions of the trophy for the previous two seasons.

Methods of how to win the Wales Trophy have changed several times over its life, after the first game at MSG in 1925 it was awarded to the NHL playoff champion until 1927 when it switched to a regular season award given to the first place team in the NHL's American Division. In 1939 the NHL reverted to a single division format and the trophy went to the league's regular season champion until 1967 when the league split again and the trophy went to the East Division regular season champs. In 1975 the league added conferences and Prince of Wales Trophy then became the award for the regular season champion of the conference bearing its name. For 1982 it became a playoff trophy for the first time since 1927, given to the Wales Conference playoff winner; in 1994 the Wales Conference was renamed the Eastern Conference with the trophy staying with that conference.