NHL Power Rankings: Artemi Panarin, Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon and every team’s MVP

There’s been plenty of chatter lately about which player deserves the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player this season. With the regular season in its final full month, there’s no shortage of viable candidates. As always, weighing Hart candidacies often largely depends on a person’s definition of “most valuable.” Is it the guy who puts up the most gaudy numbers, even if he’s surrounded by plenty of talent? Or is it the one player whose singular contributions mean the most to his team? 

Depending on where you fall on that debate, you’re likely campaigning for one of a handful of players that have put themselves in the conversation with their performance this year. In terms of a pure production standpoint, Leon Draisaitl stands above the rest, but some hold it against him (or at least factor in) that he often shares the ice with arguably the most skilled player in the world in Connor McDavid. David Pastrnak’s goal scoring and point production on a league-best Bruins team has also earned him consideration from many.

Artemi Panarin and Nathan MacKinnon are two guys who have arguably meant the most to their respective teams. Panarin’s incredible season is the single-biggest reason that the Rangers are a surprise player in the Metropolitan division race, while MacKinnon has nearly doubled the point total of the next closest guy on his (presumably) playoff-bound team. 

There are cases to be made for all of these guys, and I’m sure plenty of arguments will be made for and against over the coming weeks. But while the discussion is hot, let’s use this week’s edition of Power Rankings to highlight the most valuable player (or non-player) on all 31 teams at this point in the season.

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