The NHL has released the three finalists for the 2020 Hart Memorial Trophy. The award is giving to the player judged most valuable to his team. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association votes each year to determine the award’s recipient. This year’s finalists are the Colorado Avalanche‘s Nathan MacKinnon, the Edmonton Oilers‘ Leon Draisaitl, and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers.
Your 2020 Hart Trophy finalists. #NHLAwards
— NHL (@NHL) July 21, 2020
2020 Hart Trophy Finalists Announced
The Hart Trophy is named for Canadian Dr. David Hart, who donated the original trophy. David was the father of former coach and General Manager Cecil Hart, who worked for the Montreal Canadiens in the 1920s and ’30. It often goes to the most dynamic scorer in the league but two goaltenders have won it since 2000-01. Last year’s winner was Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
MacKinnon has been nothing short of outstanding in 2019-20. The 24-year-old had 35 goals and 93 points in 69 games before the league paused its operations. He was more than 40 points ahead of Colorado’s second-place scorer. MacKinnon scored 99 points in 82 games in 2018-19. The pause prevented the top centre from breaking 100 points for the first time in his career. MacKinnon will help Colorado take its opponent after the play-in round has ended.
Draisaitl was a godsend for Edmonton this season. The 24-year-old from Germany set a new career-high in scoring with 43 goals and 110 points in 71 games. He was a huge part of the Oilers’ success when Connor McDavid briefly missed time in February. Draisaitl benefits from playing next to one of the league’s absolute best but he showed he can help carry things in 2019-20. The Oilers will face the Chicago Blackhawks for a spot in the playoffs proper.
Panarin was worth every penny for the New York Rangers this season. He signed a seven-year deal with the Rangers after two very good campaigns with the Columbus Blue Jackets and showed he could handle the pressure that comes with a huge contract. Panarin had 32 goals and 95 points in 69 games before the season paused. The Rangers will face the Carolina Hurricanes when the play-in round commences.
The winner will be announced during the conference finals or right before the Stanley Cup Final.
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