The National Hockey League announced its final round of award finalists on Tuesday with the three candidates for the Hart Trophy. The Hart Trophy is awarded annually to "the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season.
This is the first time that Draisaitl has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy after he finished the 2019-20 season as the league's top scorer with 110 points (43+67) in 71 games played. The 24-year-old not only scored the most points in the league this season and came away with the Art Ross Trophy, but he also registered the most assists. Draisaitl was also able to add five more points to his total from last season (105 points) in 11 fewer games, and was on pace to finish the 2019-20 season with 50 goals and 77 assists for 127 points in 82 games if the year was not shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since being drafted third overall in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Oilers, Draisaitl is quickly becoming one of the best playmaking forwards in the league. In 422 career games in parts of six seasons in Edmonton, the native of Cologne, Germany is averaging exactly a point per-game with 422 points (168+254) in that span.
The 24-year-old ended up leading the Avalanche this season in scoring with 35 goals and 58 assists for 93 points in 69 games. MacKinnon was on pace to set career-highs in every scoring statistic this season, and was expected to surpass the 100-point mark for the first time in his career.
So far in 525 career games in the NHL, the former first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft has went on to score 190 goals, while posting 305 assists for 495 points in seven seasons with the Avalanche.
This is the first time that Panarin has been a finalist for the Hart Trophy in his dynamic five-year career in the NHL. Back in 2016, the Russian winger was able to claim the Calder Trophy as the league's Rookie of the Year while with the Blackhawks. So far in 391 NHL games, Panarin is producing well-over a point per-game pace with 148 goals and 267 assists for 415 points.