The National Hockey League has announced Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews as the Hart Trophy nominees. The award is given annually to the league’s most valuable player. Leon Draisaitl was the winner in 2020, becoming the first German player to ever be awarded the Hart.
HART TROPHY FINALISTS 🏆
— NHL (@NHL) June 10, 2021
NHL Announces Hart Trophy Finalists
The Hart finalists are picked by the Pro Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) and none come as a surprise to anybody. All three players were outstanding with their respective teams and, even though many can try to argue, they were good contenders all season long.
Matthews became the first Toronto Maple Leafs player to lead the league in goals since 1946. He scored 41 goals and 66 points in 52 games. This is the first MVP nomination for the 24-year-old, who was also nominated for the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player in the league. Matthews led Toronto to finish first in the North Division, qualifying for the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six years.
The Edmonton Oilers superstar didn’t fail to impress for another year. He led the league in points with 105 and assists with 72 in 56 games. This season was the third where the Oilers’ captain led the NHL in scoring. McDavid scored at least one point in 45 of 56 games in the regular season and helped the Oilers finish second in the North, qualifying for the playoffs. He was awarded the Hart in the 2016-17 season and is a three-time finalist for the award. The 24-year-old is also a Ted Lindsay Award finalist.
MacKinnon wrapped up the regular season eighth in the league with 20 goals and 65 points in 48 games. The Colorado Avalanche centreman was second on the team in scoring, only one point behind Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon was also a Hart finalist in 2019-20 and in 2017-18 but is yet to win the award. He helped Colorado win the Presidents’ Trophy and qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season. If he does win this year, MacKinnon will be the third player in franchise history to win the Hart and the first since Peter Forsberg received it in 2003.
Embed from Getty Images