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NHL Hart Memorial Trophy Front Runners

With teams now having played for a full two months, nearly 30 games, the race for NHL MVP is heating up with two of the top three front runners from the same team.

The last time the league’s MVP, and runner up were from the same team was in 1971 when Bobby Orr won the Hart Memorial Trophy over Phil Esposito.

Let’s take a look at who the favorites for this award are.

5. Nathan MacKinnon:

Colorado Avalanche Forward Nathan MacKinnon has had a significant role in keeping the Avalanche at the top of the league with both line mates Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog getting injured early in the season.

MacKinnon has recorded 42 points with his 17 goals, and 25 assists on the season.

Of those 17 goals, six were on the power play.

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As it stands right now MacKinnon is on pace for a total of 132 points this season.

MacKinnon, and the Avalanche travel to take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET as Colorado looks to win four consecutive games.

4. Brad Marchand

With the league’s best plus-minus of plus-19, Boston’s Brad Marchand has also recorded an impressive 43 points on the season.

Currently with the fourth most goals in the league with 18, and the third most assists with 25, Marchand has played a key role in the Bruins currently sitting first place in the NHL, along with a 12 point lead for first place in the Atlantic Division.

www.apnews.com

To no one’s surprise Marchand has still been able to antagonize the opponent in earning himself 43 penalty minutes thus far; this ties him for fifth in the league in penalty minutes.

What solidifies Marchand’s spot on this list to me is the fact that he has the second most game winning goals with four.

3. Leon Draisaitl:

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Leon Draisaitl is having himself a season so far, hitting 50 points last night in Edmonton’s 3-2 win over the Canucks in Vancouver.

With 18 goals, and 32 assists in 29 games played, Draisaitl has the second most points in the NHL, just one behind line mate Connor McDavid.

Currently on pace for 141 points this season, which would compare to Adam Oates when he recorded 142 points in 1992-93, Draisaitl has also been clutch for the Oilers with his league leading five game winning goals.

Edmonton currently sits first in the Pacific Division, and are seeking their second playoff appearance since they lost to the Hurricanes in the 2005-06 Stanley Cup Finals.

2. David Pastrnak:

Bruins’ Winger David Pastrnak has been lighting the lamp as close to every game as you can get.

In 27 games played, Pastrnak has scored 25 goals, and has added 17 assists for a total of 42 points.

Pastrnak currently leads the league in goals by five ahead of Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, and leads the league in both power play, and game winning goals with 12, and 5 respectively.

Add to this a plus-12 rating, making him the only player other than Marchand in this group to be in the top ten for plus-minus.

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On pace for a 76 goal season, which would be the most since Teemu Selanne, and Alexander Mogilny both scored 76 goals in 1992-93, David Pastrnak became the fastest player to score 25 goals in a season since Jaromir Jagr did so in 26 games in 1996-97.

Pastrnak, and the Bruins take on the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow in Boston at 7:00 PM ET.

1. Connor McDavid:

The 2017 Hart Memorial Trophy winner is on pace for a 144 point season with 51 points in 29 games played.

Finishing with 144 points would be comparable to Phil Esposito when he recorded 145 points in 1973-74.

www.thestar.com

With the third most goals with 19, and the most assists with 32, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl have carried the Oilers to second place in the Western Conference just three points behind the St. Louis Blues.

Despite all the points, McDavid has a plus-minus of just plus-5, with two game winning goals, and eight power play goals.

The only two current players who have won the Hart Memorial Trophy more than once are Sidney Crosby, and Alexander Ovechkin.

McDavid will look to add to his point total Wednesday when the Oilers host the Ottawa Senators at 9:30 PM ET.

Photo Source: www.nhl.nbcsports.com

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