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Nathan MacKinnon one of three Hart Trophy finalists

MacKinnon ranked fifth in the NHL with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) in 69 games
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Nathan MacKinnon speaks to the media at the Memorial Cup in Halifax. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

NEW YORK — Edmonton Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl, Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon and New York Rangers left-wing Artemi Panarin are the finalists for the 2020 Hart Trophy.

The award is presented each year by the NHL to "the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team."

Draisaitl led the league with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games, becoming the first German-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy.

He registered at least one point in 56 of his 71 appearances and recorded a league-best 33 multi-point performances.

The 24-year-old from Cologne, Germany, led the NHL in assists and power-play points (44) and was tied for first with 10 game-winning goals. He led NHL forwards in both total (1,605 minutes 24 seconds) and average (22:37) ice time.

Draisaitl is seeking to become the fourth Oiler to capture the award following Wayne Gretzky (eight times, most recently 1986-87), Mark Messier (1989-90) and Connor McDavid (2016-17).

MacKinnon ranked fifth in the NHL with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) in 69 games.

The 24-year-old from Cole Harbour, N.S., finished the campaign among the league leaders in shots on goal (first, 318), power-play points (fourth, 31), assists (sixth, 58), power-play goals (tied sixth, 12) and goals (ninth, 35).

MacKinnon recorded 43 more points than defenceman Cale Makar, his next-closest teammate. It's the largest differential between a team's top two scorers since the 2007-08 Washington Capitals, when Alex Ovechkin had 112 points and Nicklas Backstrom had 69.

MacKinnon's point total was aided by a 13-game, season-opening point streak, the longest such run by an Avalanche/Nordiques player since Mats Sundin's 30-game streak in 1992-93.

Panarin established a career high and ranked fourth in the NHL with 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists).

He topped the league with 46 even-strength assists and 71 even-strength points, while placing second in both assists (tied, 63) and plus/minus (plus-36).

Panarin also played a career-high 20:36 per game, including 3:44 on the power play, while logging a career-low 20 penalty minutes.

The 28-year-old Korkino, Russia, native is New York's first Hart Trophy finalist since 2011-12, when Henrik Lundqvist finished third in voting.

Panarin won the 2015-16 Calder Trophy in his rookie season with Chicago.

The three players are also the finalists for the Ted Lindsay award, presented annually to the "most outstanding" player in the NHL as voted by members of the National Hockey League Players' Association.
 
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press




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