The Hart Trophy
The 2021-22 Hart Trophy belongs to Auston Matthews.
He leads the NHL in goals, with 58 and was the first player since the mid-90s to score 50 goals in 50 games.
He missed games to start the year because of off-season wrist surgery, then had to get up to speed, but once he did, he scored at an 82 goal pace for 51 games. He missed two games with a suspension and has missed the last three.
There is no doubt in my mind that if he had played every game this season and was healthy in all of them, that he’d be trying to hit 80 as the season wound down.
As it stands, he’s got four more games to hit 60 and become the first member of the Toronto Maple Leafs to do so.
He has 102 points and 58 goals in 70 games. He is having the best season anyone in the NHL has had since the NHL salary cap came into effect.
He’s the best scorer and among the best defenders. He is the NHL’s best and most complete player and the obvious MVP.
Any conversations about who is “most valuable to their team” and try to argue that because he also plays with Mitch Marner are just idiotic in my opinion. Matthews is the best players and he deserves the Hart.
Connor McDavid should be second, and Mitch Marner third. Matthews Tkachuk also deserves some love, but others like Makar, Josi, Shesterkin, Draisaitl, and Huberdau just don’t measure up.
To conclude: Auston Matthews should be a lock to win the first Major Individual award for the Toronto Maple Leafs since the NHL expanded beyond six teams. Additionally, Michael Bunting should win the Calder as the rookie of the year, but no other Leafs are deserving of hardware.