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Oilers’ Connor McDavid named Hart Trophy finalist for sixth time

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
For the sixth time in his nine years in the NHL, Connor McDavid has been named a Hart Trophy Finalist.
It follows a very impressive season for the Edmonton Oilers captain, who scored 32 goals and 132 points in 76 games. Despite missing six games on the year, he scored the third most points of any player, with a 1.74 points per game rate behind only Nikita Kucherov’s 1.78.
McDavid became the fourth player in NHL history to record 100 assists in the season, a feat that Kucherov himself reached the day after, but it wasn’t his only significant milestone. Surpassing 120 points for the third year in a row, McDavid became the first to do so since Wayne Gretzky between 1989-90 and 1991-92.
He also became the first player to record back-to-back 130-point seasons since Mario Lemieux did so in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
McDavid, the reigning Hart Trophy winner, looks to become the fourth player in NHL history with at least four Hart Trophies, chasing Gretzky (nine times), Gordie Howe (six), and Eddie Shore (four). If he takes home the title, McDavid would become the first back-to-back winner since Alex Ovechkin in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
The other finalists for the league’s MVP award are Kucherov and Nathan MacKinnon.
Kucherov set a Lightning franchise record with his 44-goal and 144-point season, racking up the second-most points by any player over the last 28 years. He factored in on exactly half of the Lightning’s 288 goals scored this season, becoming the 12th player in league history to factor in such a percentage of his team’s goals. The gap between Kucherov and his next closest teammate in terms of points was stark, as Brayden Point’s 46-goal, 90-point season still trailed Kucherov by 54 points despite the pair being each other’s most common linemate, playing 1441 minutes together in all situations.
MacKinnon, meanwhile, also set a franchise scoring record this year, racking up 51 goals and 140 points in 82 games, with just the fifth 140-point season in the league’s past three decades. With career highs in goals and assists, he became the sixth player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to score 50 goals in a year, trailing just Peter Stastny (93 in 1981-82) for the franchise record in assists in a single season. This year he racked up a 35-game home point streak, scoring 29 goals and 77 points between October 19th and March 26th. It’s the second-longest home scoring streak in league history, trailing only Gretkzy’s perfect 1988-89 home campaign in which he scored 33 goals and 103 points in 40 games.
The Hart Trophy winner, as voted on by NHLPA members, will be unveiled in a yet-to-be-announced awards show after the playoffs end.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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