Matthews, McDavid, Shesterkin named Hart Trophy finalists

auston matthews, Connor McDavid Y Igor Shesterkin were named finalists for deer trophy Thursday.

The award is given annually to the NHL player voted most valuable to his team by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The winner will be announced as part of the 2022 NHL Awards during either the Conference Finals or the Stanley Cup Final.

Matthews led the NHL in goals (60), the most in a season by a Toronto Maple Leafs player, and the most by an American-born player in a season. The central defender was the first to score goals since Steven Stammos he scored 60 for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011-12. Matthews tied Stamkos for sixth in the NHL with 106 points (46 assists) in 73 games, first with 348 shots on goal and fifth in game-winning goals (10). He scored 16 power play goals and was plus-20 averaging 20:37 of ice time per game. Matthews has scored at least 34 goals in each of his six NHL seasons, leading the league in each of the last two (41 goals in 52 games last season).

[Finalists: Calder Trophy | Norris Trophy | Vezina Trophy]

Matthews this season helped Toronto (54-21-7) to the most wins and points (115) in its history and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. A two-time finalist, Matthews was runner-up to McDavid last season. He would be the third Maple Leafs player to win the award and the first since Ted Kenney in 1954-55. Babe Pratt won the Hart with Toronto in 1943-44.

McDavid led the NHL in scoring for the second straight season with 123 points (44 goals, 79 assists) in 80 games for the Edmonton Oilers. The center was first in power-play points (44; 10 goals, 34 assists), was tied with seven players for sixth with nine game-winning goals, and had 28-plus with an average play time of 22:04. ice per game McDavid has led the NHL in scoring in four of the last six seasons and finished second in the other two.

McDavid, who helped Edmonton (49-27-6) qualify for the playoffs this season, is a two-time Hart winner and a four-time runner-up. He won the award last season and in 2016-17, and would be the third consecutive Oilers player to win it (Leon Draisaitl, 2019-20). McDavid can become the first player to win the Hart in consecutive seasons since alex ovechkin (2007-08, 2008-09), and the ninth player to win the award at least three times; Wayne Gretzky won it a record nine times, including eight consecutive seasons between 1979 and 1987.

Shesterkin, who was announced Tuesday as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goalie voted the best in the NHL, went 36-13-4 in 52 games for the New York Rangers, leading the NHL in goals-against average ( 2.07) and save percentage (.935) and finishing third in shutouts (six). He had a save percentage of at least .900 in 40 games, including at least .950 in 24 games, and allowed two or fewer goals in 33 games. Shesterkin was second in save percentage when his team trailed (.929), behind James Reimer of the San Jose Sharks (.930), to help the Rangers finish second in goals against per game (2.49) behind the Carolina Hurricanes (2.44) and seventh in penalty percentage (82.3 percent).

A first-time finalist, Shesterkin helped New York (52-24-6) qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2017. He would be the fifth Rangers player to win the award and the first since Mark Messier in 1991-92. . Shesterkin would be the eighth goalkeeper to win the award and the first since tortoiseshell price from the Montreal Canadiens in 2014-15.

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