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) /
4 of 4

1. Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators

It took him the better part of three years, but Matt Duchene is finally playing at the level that the Nashville Predators expected when they brought him to Tennessee in 2019.

Duchene’s numbers may not jump off the page in the same way that Meier’s do in San Jose, and his durability has not been as valuable as Jarry’s in Pittsburgh, but his return to form has revitalized his team in Nashville.

Part of the reason that he comes in at number one here, is the fact that I counted Nashville out at the beginning of the season. Even last year I was telling people that it was time for the Predators to sell players and start over.

Thanks to Matt Duchene, however, Nashville is 28-15-4, which is good for second place in the Central Division entering play on Saturday. The Predators are ninth in the NHL with a .638 point percentage.

Now, a lot of credit should also go to Predators captain Roman Josi, who has 46 points in 45 games this season and has been phenomenal on the power play. He could probably be on this list of sneaky MVP picks himself.

However, he has been so good for so many years, that while he is undoubtedly the driving force behind the Predators, he clearly needs some help getting his team to its ultimate goal. That help has been missing in the last several seasons, but it has come in the form of Matt Duchene this year.

In his first two seasons with the Preds (100 games), Duchene combined for 19 goals, 55 points, a minus-16 rating, and 14 power play points. This season alone, in 43 games, he has 22 goals, 42 points, a plus-2 rating, and 15 power play points.

His complete turnaround has sparked this team since the opening games of the season, and while Nashville has other key contributors playing better hockey this season too, his 180-degree change can’t go unnoticed.

light. Related Story. Top 3 NHL MVP Candidates in the 2021-2022 Season

These three players may be long shots to take home the MVP award, but without them, their teams would not be nearly as successful as they have been this season, and that is the mark of a true MVP.