Leon Draisaitl of Oilers, Nathan MacKinnon of Avalanche and Artemi Panarin of the Rangers are finalists for the NHL MVP

Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl, Colorado avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are finalists for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL player “considered most valuable to his team”.

The winner, to be revealed during the final round of the conference starting on August 1, is determined by a vote of the Association of Professional Hockey Writers.

All three players were also nominated for the Ted Lindsay Award, voted by the NHL Players Association and awarded to the league’s most “outstanding” player.

Draisaitl, 24, led the NHL in points (110), assists (67) and game-winning goals (10) in 71 games for the Oilers. His 1.55 points per game (minimum 50 games) rank second only after 2019 Hart winner Nikita Kucherov (1.56) for the highest average in the past 20 years.

He also posted one of the league’s 33 best multipoint performances, four more than MacKinnon, and led the NHL forwards overall (1,605: 24) and average ice time (22:37). While playing most of their minutes 5-5 away from their star teammate Connor McDavid, the two saw time together in the power play, and Draisaitl had 44 power play points. Draisaitl has helped create the most effective power game (29.5% conversion rate) in the NHL since 1979.

MacKinnon, Hart’s finalist in 2018, had 93 points (35 goals and 58 assists) in 69 games for Avalanche, dragging a team that was besieged with injuries to second place in the Western Conference. The 24-year-old MacKinnon, who led the NHL with 318 shots on goal, had 43 points more than teammate Cale Makar, the biggest differential between a team’s top two scorers since the 2007-08 Washington Capitals.

Panarin, 28, caused quite a stir after New York signed him as the 2019 summer free agent derby award. He had 32 goals and 63 assists in 69 games, finishing 20 points ahead of his teammate Mika Zibanejad in the team scoring as the Rangers advanced to the postseason after the league altered its playoff format to include 24 teams after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panarin, the 2016 NHL Rookie of the Year, was the NHL’s best uniform strength scorer this season with 71 points, including the NHL’s best 46 uniform strength assists and an over-under rating of over-36. .