Over the weekend, we asked the PHR readership which outstanding rookie would win the Calder Trophy should the season end without any additional regular season games being played. Quinn Hughes was the runaway winner with more than 51% of the vote, while Cale Makar turned in a solid showing.
Today, we’ll ask you to answer a similar question: Who would take home the Hart Trophy if the season ended today?
The award is given out to the “player judged most valuable to his team,” which has always started plenty of healthy debate. It’s true that last year’s winner, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, was also the league leader in scoring with 128 points. But the league MVP is not always the player who takes home the Art Ross for most points. In fact, in 2018 Taylor Hall took home the award despite finishing sixth in league scoring with 93 points, 15 fewer than third-place finisher Connor McDavid.
That’s why it’s not necessarily a lock that Leon Draisaitl, the highest-scoring player of the current season, is the clear favorite.