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Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon finalists for MVP award

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UPI News
UPI News
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, shown Dec. 19, 2016, dominated in the regular season with 105 points in just 56 games. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon on Thursday were named the finalists for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player.

McDavid, who is considered the front-runner for the MVP award, dominated in the regular season with 105 points in just 56 games -- 21 more points than Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl, who captured MVP honors last year.

If McDavid wins the Hart Trophy, the Oilers will become the first team with different MVP winners in consecutive seasons since the Boston Bruins in the 1968-69 (Phil Esposito) and 1969-70 (Bobby Orr) seasons.

The 24-year-old McDavid won the Hart Trophy in 2017 and finished third in voting in 2019. He would be the fifth player in NHL history to earn the award multiple times before his 25th birthday, joining Wayne Gretzky (six), Orr (three), Gordie Howe (two) and Alex Ovechkin (two).

Matthews led the league in goals with 41 over 52 games and helped Toronto clinch the top seed in the North Division. The 23-year-old forward was the first Maple Leafs player to lead the NHL in goals since Gaye Stewart in the 1945-46 campaign.

MacKinnon, a finalist for the third time in four years, recorded 20 goals and 45 assists in 48 games this season. His offensive output paced the Avalanche's top-ranked offense and helped them win the Presidents' Trophy as the best team during the regular season.

Meanwhile, MacKinnon's teammate, Cale Makar, is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman. Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Adam Fox of the New York Rangers are the other finalists for the award.

Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the league's top goalie. Vegas Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning also are finalists for the honor.

The Golden Knights' Mark Stone, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers' Aleksander Barkov are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, which is given to the NHL's best defensive forward.

Jack Adams Award finalists for Coach of the Year are set to be revealed Friday. The NHL plans to announce award winners during the semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.

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