(via NHL Communications) - Right wing Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning has won the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Kucherov dominated the voting, receiving 164 of 171 first-place votes in amassing 1,677 points. Two-time Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins finished in second place with 739 points, followed by 2017 Hart Trophy recipient Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers (465 points).
Kucherov (41-87—128 in 82 GP) led the NHL with 128 points – the most by any player since 1995-96 – and 87 assists – the most by any player since 2006-07 – to capture his first career Art Ross Trophy and help the Lightning tie a League record for wins in one season (62). Kucherov, who also topped the NHL in power-play scoring (15-33—48), collected at least one point in 62 of 82 appearances (75.6%). That included a League-best 38 multi-point games, highlighted by a pair of five-point performances: Dec. 22 at EDM (1-4—5) and Feb. 18 at CBJ (2-3—5). The 26-year-old Maykop native, who set franchise records for assists and points in one campaign, also broke Alexander Mogilny’s single-season NHL record for points by a Russian-born player (76-51—127 in 1992-93 w/ BUF).
Kucherov is the second player in Tampa Bay history to take home the Hart Trophy, following Martin St. Louis’ win in 2003-04.
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