Who Will Win the Hart Trophy This Season?
USA – October 2, 2018
As another National Hockey League season is at the doorstep, analysts continue to predict who will win personal trophies during the season.
The Hart Memorial Trophy (named after Canadian Dr. David Hart who donated the original trophy to the league back in 1924) is awarded annually to the player who has contributed the most to the overall success of his team. This does not mean “the strongest” or “the most popular” player will automatically get it: Everything depends on the particular personal effort a player has made during the current season, so there are surprises fairly often.
Moreover, this also doesn’t mean the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup-winning team will win the Hart Trophy. The formula for choosing the winner is pretty complicated. For instance, last season the trophy went to New Jersey Devils left-wing Taylor Hall. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (the organization that chooses the winner of the Hart Trophy) voted for him because without his 93 regular season points (39 goals and 54 assists), a pretty average NHL team, which the Devils are, would never have made it to the play-offs.
Under these circumstances, one of the most visible candidates for this year’s Hart Trophy is certainly Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. Connor is the only player who could bring the glory back to the team of Wayne Gretzky and one of the strongest dynasties of the 1980s.
He is a glimmer of hope for the Alberta Province team. Last season, McDavid was better from a personal standpoint, leading the League with 108 points (41 goals and 67 assists), while the Oilers finished with 78 points and missed the playoffs by 17 points.
According to the panel, the 20 most probable candidates to win the Hart Trophy this season are:
Voting totals (points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis):
- Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers, 52 points (six first-place votes)
- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, 42 points (two first-place votes);
- John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs, 30 (three first-place votes);
- Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs, 21 (two first-place votes);
- Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning, 19 (one first-place vote);
- Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche, 19 (one first-place vote);
- Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, 16 (two first-place votes);
- Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks, 15 (one first-place vote);
- Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets, 13;
- Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers, 9;
- Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets, 7;
- Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, 6;
- Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars, 5;
- Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks, 4;
- Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, 3;
- Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres, 3;
- Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils, 2;
- Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, 2;
- Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, 1;
- Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames, 1.