Top 3 Sleeper Picks for NHL MVP in 2021-2022 Season

Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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We are nearly halfway through February, and the focus of the NHL season has shifted to end-of-year awards for both teams and individuals, like the Stanley Cup and MVP.

When we talk about those individual awards, and the top candidates to win each one, we look to the top of the statistical leaderboards to find the players that have been the most impressive this season. That is especially true when it comes to the MVP award, but if we want to find all of the most valuable players, then we have to dig a little deeper.

In this article, I will discuss a few players that are by no means favorites to win MVP, but whose performances are critical to the success of their teams this season. Most valuable player and best player are often confused as the same thing, and sometimes they are, but when it comes to these picks, value is at an all-time high.

These three players are dark-horse MVP candidates.

To me, the value that drives a player’s chances of winning this award is determined by two things: the team’s overall performance (a player can’t be the most valuable if he can’t lead his club to the postseason) and the player’s role (which must be a primary one) in that performance.

Remove the following three players from their respective rosters, and each of their teams would be having significantly less productive seasons. One team would probably be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in without its dark-horse MVP candidate, while another could be challenging for worst-team-in-the-league status.

These may not be the names that hockey fans have grown accustomed to hearing in these conversations, but these players have guided their clubs through the first half of the NHL season and deserve credit for what they have been able to accomplish.

Without further ado, here are the three players that are my sleeper picks to sneak in and steal the NHL’s MVP award.