NHL Announces Hart Trophy Finalists

Updated: May 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm by Brady Trettenero

New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar are the 2018 finalists for the Hart Trophy.

The trophy is awarded to the NHL player judged to be most valuable to his team.

Hall finished sixth in the NHL scoring race with 93 points (39 goals) to help the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012. The speedy winger had 41 more points than the second-highest scorer on the team (Nico Hischier).

Kopitar had 92 points (35 goals) to help the Kings return to the playoffs after missing them last season. The 30-year-old is the first Kings player with 90 points since Wayne Gretzky had 130 in 1993-94. Kopitar also is a finalist for the Selke Trophy, which is awarded to the forward judged to best excel in the defensive aspects of the game.

MacKinnon finished fifth in the NHL scoring race with 97 points (39 goals) in 74 games. His 1.31 points-per-game average was second to Oilers’ forward Connor McDavid (1.32), while his 12 game-winning goals tied Lightning forward Brayden Point for the NHL lead. The 22-year-old helped Colorado improve by 47 points in the standings, going from last in the League in 2016-17 to the second wild card from the Western Conference this season.

The winner will be announced at the 2018 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 20.

Anze Kopitar, Nathan MacKinnon, NHL, Taylor Hall