Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid and Igor Shesterkin have been named the Hart Trophy finalists, the NHL announced Thursday.
This honor is given annually to the NHL player most useful to his team according to a vote conducted by members of the Professional Association of Hockey Journalists (PHWA).
Matthews led the NHL in goals (60), the most in a season by a Toronto Maple Leafs player. The Arizona native was also the first to reach that milestone since Steven Stamkos also scored 60 goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011-12. Matthews finished tied with Stamkos for sixth in the NHL with 106 points in 73 games.
For his part, McDavid finished first in league scoring for the second straight season with 123 points (44 goals, 79 assists) in 80 games with the Edmonton Oilers. The star player has already won the Hart Trophy twice and is a finalist for the fourth time. McDavid received the Most Valuable Player award in 2016-17 and last year, and he would become the third straight Oilers player to win the trophy after Leon Draisaitl in 2019-20.
For his part, Shesterkin, who was also named a Vezina Trophy finalist on Tuesday as the NHL’s top goaltender, went 36-13-4 in 52 games for the New York Rangers this season. The Russian finished first in the league in goals-against-average (2.07) and save percentage (.935), and third in shutouts (six).
If he wins, Shesterkin would become the fifth Rangers player to achieve this recognition and the first since Mark Messier in 1991-92. He would also be the eighth goaltender to receive this trophy, and the first since Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens in 2014-2015.
The winner will be announced during the NHL Awards Ceremony, which will take place during the Conference Finals or the Stanley Cup Finals.