Maple Leafs C Auston Matthews claims NHL MVP honors

UPI News
UPI News

June 22 (UPI) -- Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is the winner of the 2021-22 Hart Memorial Trophy, given annually to the NHL's MVP, the league announced.

Matthews collected that hardware, as well as the Ted Lindsay Award -- the MVP trophy given out by the NHLPA -- at the NHL Awards on Tuesday at Armature Works in Tampa, Fla. He also claimed the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, as the league's top goal scorer.

"I think it's a tremendous honor to wear the blue and white and represent the city of Toronto and wear the Maple Leaf every night," Matthews told reporters. "The guys that have come before us and just the history that's embarked on this organization, it means a lot.

"So anytime you get your name mentioned in history in an organization like that, it's definitely pretty special and something I don't take for granted."

Matthews, 24, totaled an NHL-best 60 goals and 44 even-strength scores on a league-high 348 shots in 73 games this season. He helped the Maple leafs posted a 54-21-7 record this season for a second-place finish in the NHL's Atlantic Division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Matthews beat center Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers by 90 first-place votes. New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau and Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau rounded out the Top-5 vote-getters for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche claimed the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defender. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.

Shesterkin won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie.

The Avalanche battle the Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Game 5 of the best-of-seven series will be Friday in Denver.

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