3 reasons Auston Matthews is the clear-cut frontrunner for the Hart Trophy

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has put up a legendary season, and it should end with him taking the Hart Trophy if he keeps up this epic pace.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals
Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Matthews may be putting up career-highs everywhere 

Statistics shouldn't be everything regarding the Hart Trophy, but let’s be real: the last five winners of the award all recorded over 100 points, with last year’s winner, Connor McDavid, ending last season with an astounding 153 points. 

Fortunately, Matthews doesn’t need to get anywhere near that number. But he will likely set new milestones in his career stat line, including points, as he is currently on pace to score between 107 and 108. 

He’s only four goals from setting a new career-high, and there is also an outside chance he does the same with assists, but he would need to average at least one per game in that category. He needs just three more even strength goals, two more power play goals, and five more game-winners to break new ground in all of his goal-scoring endeavors.

He will also inch closer to his total number of shots on goal, and he’s just 90 faceoff wins from setting a new milestone. Matthews needs just 16 more blocks, three more hits, and 23 takeaways, all of which are manageable with 14 more games on the schedule. 

While setting highs in most or all of these areas wouldn’t guarantee Matthews would win the Hart, doing so would help his case since you can expect those in charge of casting the votes to look at the basic stats. 

Since he’s well on pace to set new personal bests, especially with the impact it has made on the Maple Leafs, new milestones could very well lead to his second career Hart.

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