Final stretch of the Hart Trophy race

Credit: USA Today Sports

By: Adam El-Zein

With only 9 days left of the 2023-24 NHL regular season, many eyes are on who will come out the year with the Hart Memorial Trophy. Many think Colorado Avalanche captain, Nathan MacKinnon, is the clear-cut favorite to win it.  Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Toronto’s Auston Matthews are also top contenders.

Auston Matthews

Credit: Associated Press

The Leafs’ centre has been having a great season. Yet, his case for winning the Hart Trophy comes down to one thing, whether or not he’ll hit the 70-goal scoring mark for the season. He stands at 63 right now, with 7 games remaining, and is on pace to finish the season with 69. Matthews could be the first player with a 70-goal season in the last 31 years. A historic season will never go unnoticed and put him in the conversation to win the award.



Nikita Kucherov

Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel

Kucherov led the way early in the season when the Lightning ruled out Andrei Vasilevskiy for the first couple of months. During that time, he carried a heavy load and surprised many with a 9-6-5 record in his star running-mate’s absence. Kucherov established early that he is the most valuable asset to his team’s success. As of right now, he leads the National Hockey League in points (130). The Lightning have won 8 of their last 10 games with their Russian star leading the way, playing as good as he ever has in his 10-year career.


Connor McDavid

Credit: Heavy Hockey

At this point, it wouldn’t be a surprise to many if McDavid ended up with the award. Recognized by many as the best player in the world, he’s already got three Hart Trophies back at home. He stands just four points off Kucherov from becoming the scoring leader. Early injuries brought early struggles for the Oilers, but that just shows the league how valuable he is. Since recovering from his injuries, he’s leading the league with 110 points in 56 games played.


Nathan MacKinnon

Credit: Getty Images

MacKinnon’s been leading the Avalanche to a spectacular season. They currently stand at 47-22,  tied for the third most wins among all teams. What could make a great case for his shot at the Hart Trophy is if he were to finish the season leading the league in scoring. He’s proven to be valuable to Colorado all season long. The team was lacking depth earlier in the season, and so much rested on the shoulders of their star centre. He came close to winning the trophy twice, in 2018 and 2020. Yet, he’s got his best shot at it this year, being the clear-cut favorite to bring it home.

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