NHL News

McDavid, Pastrnak, Tkachuk finalists for Hart

Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid, Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk are finalists for the NHL’s Hart Trophy, the league announced on Friday.

The Hart is awarded each year “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association voted on the winner.

McDavid is a previous two-time Hart recipient in 2017 and 2021, when he became just the second player in 97 years to ever unanimously win the award. Edmonton’s captain is coming off another sensational regular season where he produced 64 goals and 153 points through 82 games, the most by any skater since Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux put up 161 points in 1995-96.

Those figures also earned McDavid his first Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal-scorer and third consecutive Art Ross Trophy (fifth overall) as its leading points-getter. McDavid is a finalist as well for the Ted Lindsay award, which designates the NHL’s “most outstanding player” as voted on by members of the NHL’s Player’s Association. The 26-year-old propelled the Oilers to their fourth consecutive postseason berth; Edmonton is currently tied 2-2 with Vegas in their Western Conference second-round series.

Pastrnak set several career-bests in the regular season, including goals scored (61, second-most in the NHL), points (113, tied for third-most), and assists (52). The Bruins’ top-line winger played a major role in creating Boston’s historic regular season run where they broke multiple records – including most wins in a season with 65 – and won the President’s Trophy on the strength of a 135-point campaign.

Pastrnak was arguably the Bruins’ best player from start to finish, getting Boston on track early when key players were sidelined by injury and eventually earning an eight-year, $90 million extension with the club.

He joins McDavid as a finalist for both the Hart and Ted Lindsay. Pastrnak added five goals in the Bruins’ Eastern Conference first-round series against Florida before Boston fell in Game 7 to be eliminated from the playoffs.

Tkachuk is a first-time Hart finalist. The Panthers forward finished the season tied for fifth in points (109) and produced 40 goals to mark a second consecutive 40-plus goal campaign.

Tkachuk was part of a blockbuster deal last July that sent him from Calgary to Florida in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar; the 25-year-old committed long-term to the Panthers with an eight-year, $76 million contract. Tkachuk made his impact felt immediately, pacing Florida in assists (69) and points with consistent production even as the Panthers struggled much of the year. Tkachuk led the charge in willing Florida into a postseason berth with a late-season surge that allowed the Panthers to capture the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

As an eighth seed, Florida toppled top-seeded Boston with a first-round victory; Tkachuk had a team-leading 11 points in that series victory. The Panthers currently hold a 3-1 lead over Toronto in their second-round matchup ahead of Friday’s Game 5.

The Hart Trophy winner will be announced at the NHL Awards in Nashville on June 26.

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