5 players who should be serious Hart Trophy candidates but won’t

The NHL will be rewarding the Hart Trophy soon, and there are a few players who should be considered but most likely won’t get many, if any, votes.
Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The NHL’s awards season is just around the corner, and there are plenty of players worthy of winning the Hart Trophy this season. We know who the major names are, the most popular of which would be Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak, Nikita Kucherov, and Quinn Hughes, just to name a few.

All of the above names have more than shown us why they are so valuable to their respective franchises, and they are also primary reasons the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Vancouver Canucks are among the league’s best hockey teams. But there are other names who haven’t received as much recognition, mainly because their respective teams were either fringe contenders in 2023-24 and may not have made the playoffs at all. 

Some players should be Hart Trophy candidates but won’t be

Instead of talking about Matthews, MacKinnon, McDavid, Pastrnak, Kucherov, and Hughes, among other big names, let’s instead discuss five other players who should be serious contenders for the Hart Trophy but won’t be for a myriad of reasons. 

One reason is that a few of those listed in the following slides just didn’t score at an elite pace, even if they were the reason their team would be in the playoffs or at least had a chance to make the postseason. Another could be that, despite putting up a legendary stat or two, their overall points total just wasn’t there. 

One particular player jumped out more than any other because they were instrumental in keeping their team alive until the absolute last game of the season. They weren’t a high-scoring forward, but instead, their play kept one of the NHL’s lowest-scoring teams in the hunt. But before we talk about them, let’s first check out a former Conn Smythe recipient.