The NHL announced 3 incredible Hart Trophy finalists

The NHL announced 3 incredible Hart Trophy finalists on Tuesday morning.
Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

In most NHL seasons, we have a clear-cut idea of who will win the Hart Trophy as the MVP of the league. One or two guys usually identify themselves pretty early and it isn't that hard.

This year, five or six guys are deserving of the award. There are probably even more than that who would be nominated in any other season. It is still unclear who will get it.

The three nominees were announced on Tuesday morning. They are Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.

All of them had over 130 points this season. That includes reaching the 100 assists milestone for Kucherov and McDavid. All three of them deserve to win it based on the numbers that they put up.

The NHL had the stars shining bright during the 2023-24 season

McDavid became the fourth-ever player to reach 100 assists when he did it. He ended the year with 32 goals and 100 assists for 132 points.

Kucherov did it a few nights later and ended the season with 44 goals and 100 assists for 144 points. That captured his second career Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer.

Only Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Connor McDavid, and Nikita Kucherov have had 100 assists in a season. That isn't terrible company to be included in.

As for MacKinnon, he was a little more well-rounded with his production. He had 51 goals and 89 assists for 140 points. He didn't reach the 100 assist mark but he did score 50+ goals for the first time in his career. It was a sensational year all around for him.

Nikita Kucherov and Connor McDavid have each won it before. MacKinnon has been nominated but never came out on top.

Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had 69 goals, was not nominated. Some people think he would have won if he reached that 70 mark but he didn't. You know the field is good when a guy who scores that many goals isn't even nominated.

There is also the "most valuable player to his team" argument. That supports guys like Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins, and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers. They will all have top-ten finishes in the voting.

What about a goalie? Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets was deserving of consideration but wasn't nominated. His numbers were MVP quality for a goalie. He'll just have to settle for the Vezina Trophy.

No matter what, Kucherov, McDavid, and MacKinnon must keep their heads high. They are three of the best players this league has ever seen. All of them will be Hall of Famers and have many more years to dominate this league.