Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin are the finalists for the 2021-22 Hart Trophy, which honors the NHL‘s most valuable player. The winners of all of the NHL awards will be announced during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals later this postseason.
Matthews looks to become the first Maple Leaf to win the Hart Trophy since Ted Kennedy in 1955. Matthews recorded 106 points (60 goals and 46 assists) and became the first player in a decade to score 60 goals in a single season. The Maple Leafs center also broke Rick Valve’s franchise record of 54 goals while breaking Jimmy Carson’s record of 55 goals by an American-born player. M
Matthews finished second behind McDavid in the Hart Trophy voting a season ago.
Meanwhile, McDavid led the league with a new career high in points (123) while also recording career highs in goals (44) and assists (79). This marks the fourth time that the Oilers has been a Hart Trophy finalist. McDavid won the award in 2017 and 2021. He is aiming to become the ninth player in NHL history to win the award on at least three occasions.
Shesterkin, who has also been named as a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goalie, put together a historic season in which he produced a 36-13-4 record. The Rangers netminder also posted a league-leading 2.07 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage throughout the 2021-22 campaign.
Shesterkin would be the first Ranger to win the Hart Trophy since Mark Messier in 1992. In addition, the Rangers star is looking to become just the third goalie ever to win the award in NHL history as he’d join Montreal Canadiens goaltenders Jose Theodore (2002) and Carey Price (2015).