Every year the Hart trophy by definition goes to the most valuable player to their team as deemed by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. This season has the largest pool of potential nominees than what we have seen in past seasons.
Here are our picks for the Hart trophy:
Jen’s Pick: Taylor Hall
Every year, the Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player dubbed “most valuable to his team.” In my opinion, this year, there is no way that that isn’t Taylor Hall. Other names in the mix include Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov, and Nathan MacKinnon. In order to determine if a player is the most valuable team, I asked this question: Where would the team be without him? As far as the Edmonton Oilers go, they would obviously be at a huge disadvantage without Connor McDavid, but they would still have talent in players like Leon Draisaitl, Cam Talbot, and Jesse Puljujarvi. The Tampa Bay Lightning would still be stacked without Nikita Kucherov, between captain Steven Stamkos and superstar Victor Hedman. The Colorado Avalanche still have Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Jost without Nathan MacKinnon. In addition, Hall broke out of his shell this season, setting career highs in points (93) and goals (39), and being one point away from tying a career high in assists. Taylor Hall is the shining star of the New Jersey Devils, and they would not be the same without him, making him my choice for the Hart Trophy this year.
Vanessa’s Pick: Taylor Hall
Taylor Hall has seen his share of grueling seasons, whether it was during his time with the Oilers or his first year with the Devils. Yet regardless of past season’s results, he is persevering. Hall ended the season as the 6th overall skater amongst point leaders with 93 points and his remarkable 26 game point streak propelled him into the Hart Trophy contention. Through his run that started on January 2nd, Hall recorded 18 goals and 38 points with 11 multi-point games. After tipping his team the positive direction over the brink of playoff contention, Taylor Hall is looking better than ever and is considerably one of the league’s most valuable players. Wonder what Peter Chiarelli thinks…
Ruchi’s Pick: Taylor Hall
Hall is having a great season with the Devils. He’s roughly 40 points ahead of the next Devils player in points and 15 ahead in goals. While Kucherov and Malkin are also having great seasons, I feel like their teammates are a big factor to their success. Hall on the other hand is doing it on his own. I would consider Nathan MacKinnon a strong candidate as well, but he also has Mikko Rantanen relatively close to him in points on the Avalanche.
Alyssa’s Pick: Taylor Hall
As hockey fans, we’re fortunate to be witnessing a season with so many MVP-caliber nominees on the table. Having said that, we bear the responsibility of picking the one that stands particularly taller than the others in the role they have played for their team. Both Nathan MacKinnon and Taylor Hall have done wonders for their teams, but I have to give the edge to the latter. Hall fits the definition of “most valuable player” to a tee, the way he has wielded his team to playoff contention through his outstanding performance in his role as a New Jersey franchise player. I think his deservingness runs deeper than “his team made the playoffs” when taking into consideration what the team would look like before Hall took it upon himself to play the role he does within this organization. He represents a lot of hope and positivity for Devils fans all around, and I think he should end the season with the reward of an MVP title for it.
Kayla’s Pick: Nikita Kucherov
The Lightning are a pretty stacked team, but Nikita Kucherov is a stand-out for me. He has 39 regular season goals, which will definitely surpass 40 as we propel into the playoffs, and has a career high of 100 points. With Hall and MacKinnon also in the race, it might be a bit hard for him to snag the title, but I think he’ll rise to the occasion.
Elham’s Pick: Nathan MacKinnon
I think Nathan MacKinnon for the Hart because he’s been through rough seasons with the Avalanche and continues to be a pivotal part of the team. He’s only 22 and basically holds the team together.
Clarie’s Pick: Nathan MacKinnon
Nathan Mackinnon, after seeing the Avalanche hang onto the final wildcard spot in the West. Otherwise, it would have had to be Taylor Hall. With the Oilers far out of a playoff spot, I can’t pick McDavid.
Leave a comment below or tweet us who you think should win the Hart!