Who will win the Hart Trophy this season as their team’s MVP?
Connor McDavid Won Last Season
Last season, the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid won the award unanimously. He also won in 2017 and has been the only player to win two times in recent seasons. McDavid remains a viable candidate for the trophy because he absolutely ran away with the points-scoring race by racking up 123 points.
No one in 30 seasons – not since Mark Recchi in 1992-93 – has scored that many points. McDavid is a scoring machine; and, he’s also probably the best player on the planet. That in itself deserves some consideration.
Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 5-2 Win Over the Bruins
But What About Auston Matthews?
However, Auston Matthews has had a season to remember. He’s been the first NHL player in 20 seasons to score 60 goals, and he did it in far fewer games than other NHL players have logged. One of the two of these great players is likely to win the Hart.
And, it looks to me as if the voting will come down to a two-player race. That leaves other great players, such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Kirill Kaprizov, Steven Stamkos, Leon Draisaitl, and Johnny Gaudreau on the outside looking in. There are a lot of great players in the NHL for sure.
Luke Fox Asked Jonathan Huberdeau Who He’s Pick
In a recent post, Luke Fox noted that he had asked the Florida Panthers Jonathan Huberdeau who he would pick if he were voting. Huberdeau replied that he’d choose Matthews.
Specifically, Heberdeau noted that Matthews was “having a great year” and is a “special” player. Huberdeau also shared that he’d had “a chance to play (with Matthews) in the all-star game … You give him the puck, he’s going to score every time. Not a lot of guys can get close to 60 goals.”
Fox Asked Matthews Who He’d Pick
Other than himself, who would Matthews select if he had a say? Matthews noted that there were “so many guys to choose from. It’s tough. But obviously [Huberdeau] would be one of the guys. It just seems like he’s been driving the bus for [Florida] along with a couple of other guys. He really stands out.”
McDavid Has Draisaitl, Matthews Has Marner
One case that I’ve heard made against Matthews winning the Hart is that he has a partner in Mitch Marner who rides shotgun with him on the team. But the same is true for McDavid as well. He plays with Leon Draisaitl – at least much of the time. So that argument seems to be moot.
Both twosomes are and have been –especially this season – amazing. It’s hard to separate them into individual units because they work so well together. And, that’s the nature of good teammates – they make each other better than they’d be playing alone.
The Race for the Hart Trophy Will Be Close
Whoever wins the Hart Trophy this season will be deserving of the award. It might be – as Fox projects in his article – the toughest choice and the narrowest vote since Taylor Hall beat out Nathan MacKinnon in 2018.
Obviously, I’d hope Matthews would win. But McDavid’s one of my favorite players as well. Yikes. But then, I guess I can’t lose on this call. Not unless it’s the Nashville Predators’ Roman Josi I suppose
Related: Are Maple Leafs’ Matthews & Marner Appreciated by Other NHL Players?
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