As the NHL unveiled its plan for a 24-team playoff tournament this summer, commissioner Gary Bettman officially announced that the 2019-20 regular season had come to an end.
Back in March, the NHL season had just been paused due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and there was some discussion that the league could opt to play more regular-season games to complete its calendar.
But, with the announcement of the 24-team playoff, the book is officially closed on the 2019-20 season and all of its statistics and records. The statistics from the play-in round also won’t be counted towards regular-season numbers.
That means that Leon Draisaitl is the 2019-20 Art Ross Trophy winner.
Gary Bettman says the 2019-20 regular season has been “deemed to be completed.” The record books are closed and award winners can be selected.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 26, 2020
Draisaitl exploded this year for a career-high 110 points, which was 13 points clear of teammate Connor McDavid for the league lead. When it’s all said and done, there’s a very good chance that Draisaitl will also add the Hart Trophy for league’s most valuable player to his trophy case.
Draisaitl also becomes the third Oiler to win the Art Ross Trophy, joining Wayne Gretzky, who did it seven times in Edmonton, and Connor McDavid, who has done it twice. Another really cool thing about this is that Draisaitl is the first-ever German to lead the NHL in scoring.