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Nikita Kucherov, Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid named finalists for 2023-24 NHL Hart Trophy

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The NHL has announced that Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), and Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) have been named the finalists for the 2023-24 Hart Trophy. The annual award honors the most valuable player to their respective team in the NHL.

Kucherov led the NHL with 144 points (44 goals & 100 assists) in 81 games, which was a Lightning franchise record. It marked the second-most points by a player in the past 28 years. Kucherov also ranked first in power-play assists (40), power-play points (53), and three-point games (8). Kucherov also became the sixth player in NHL history to tally 100 assists in a single season.

If Kucherov wins the award, he would become the fourth active player to win multiple Hart Trophies in his career along with McDavid, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.

MacKinnon finished second behind Kucherov with 140 points (51 goals & 89 assists) in 82 games. The Avalanche star’s 140-point campaign was just the fifth such season over the past 30 years. MacKinnon set career-highs in both goals and assists) and became just the sixth player in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to tally a 50-goal season.

The star forward has been a Hart Trophy finalist on three other occasions and will be looking to join Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic as the third Avalanche player to win the award.

McDavid, who won the Hart Trophy during the 2022-23 season, finished third in the NHL with 132 points (32 goals & 100 assists) across 76 games. The Oilers star became the sixth player in league history to tally at least seven 100-point seasons in four or more consecutive seasons. McDavid also became just the fifth player to register 100 assists in a single season.

The Oilers center is a Hart Trophy finalist for the sixth time in his career and is attempting to become the fourth player to win the award at least four times. Wayne Gretzky (9x), Gordie Howe (6x) and Eddie Shore (4x) are the only players in NHL history that have accomplished that feat up to this point.

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