Nikita Kucherov deserves to be the Hart Trophy winner

Nikita Kucherov deserves to be the Hart Trophy winner this season.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Lightning are headed to the postseason once again. They are going to play their in-state rivals, the Florida Panthers, in the first round. It is going to be a great series for all hockey fans to watch. 

Tampa Bay is in the playoffs in large part because of Nikita Kucherov. He is one of the best players in the NHL right now and he is healthy. He was so good this year that he decided to make some NHL history. 

On Wednesday night, the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in their last game of the season. In the win, Nikita Kucherov assisted on a goal scored by Brayden Point. It was the 100th assist of the season for Kucherov. 

He joins Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Connor McDavid as the only players to ever have 100 assists in a single season. McDavid also did it this season. 

Nikita Kucherov should be the MVP of the NHL following this season

With this, Kucherov deserves to be the Hart Trophy winner. Not only did he join the all-time greats on this list, he will be the Art Ross Trophy winner, is 10th in goals (44), and leads his team in scoring by 54 points.

There are a lot of candidates this year. Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and Sidney Crosby have all led the charge at different points this season. Even guys like Artemi Panarin and David Pastrnak deserve mention for how important they are to their teams. 

At the end of the season, however, Kucherov is the guy in front. Those 100 assists are legendary and he added 44 goals to go with it which is a high number as well. He was one of the best goal-scorers in the league and had a legendary playmaking season which helped the Lightning once again be a top team. 

If Kucherov does win the Hart Trophy, it will be the second time in his Hall of Fame career. At this point, he is starting to look like an all-time great offensive player. Adding more hardware will solidify that. 

This is also a player that has won the Stanley Cup twice. As they enter the playoffs, you can bet that Kucherov and the Lightning would love to add a third with this core. Don’t count them out as long as he is in the lineup.