Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon on Tuesday was named one of three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL player judged “most valuable to his team.” The prestigious award is voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
The other two finalists are Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers
All three Hart Trophy finalists are also in the running for the Ted Lindsay Award, the league’s other MVP award voted on by members of the NHL Players’ Association. MacKinnon is also a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded to the player that displays gentlemanly conduct.
MacKinnon, 24, led the Avalanche in scoring for the fourth consecutive season. In just 69 games MacKinnon recorded 93 points, fifth in league scoring. Draisaitl had 110 points and Panarin 95.
This season was a lot more impressive for MacKinnon to reach the 90-point plateau. While he has accomplished this twice before, he often had the help of his regular linemates and fellow 2019 All-Stars Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. The duo combined for just 85 points in 2019-20 as injuries derailed their seasons by 16 and 28 games, respectively.
The second-highest scorer on the Avalanche was a rookie defenseman, Cale Makar, who scored 12 goals and recorded 50 points in 57 games — also missing 13 games due to injury. Makar was nominated as a Calder Trophy finalist last week.
Winner of the 2014 Calder Trophy, MacKinnon was also named a finalist for the Hart Trophy in 2018 but was edged out in the final voting by Taylor Hall, then playing for the New Jersey Devils.
Story to be updated.