NHL Awards ballots from puck scribes across the league were due Monday and there’s a very good chance Boston Bruins star winger David Pastrnak will be a candidate for the Hart Trophy awarded to the league’s most valuable player. Speaking in a Zoom Call with the media Monday, Pastrnak was flattered that he’d even be considered but in his mind there’s no doubt who should be dubbed the 2019-20 league MVP.
“For me, it’s absolutely no question,” Pastrnak said. “For me, Leon Draisaitl was showing up the whole season.”
The 24-year-old Edmonton Oilers forward – who was drafted third overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the same year Pastrnak went 25th overall – had a monster season with 43 goals and 67 assists in 71 regular season games for the Oilers. Meanwhile, Pastrnak tied Alexander Ovechkin for the Rocket Richard Trophy as each led the league in goals with 48 lamplighters. Despite the fact that Draisaitl benefits from playing with arguably the best player on the planet in Connor McDavid and the likely other Hart Trophy candidate after a 34-goal and 63-assist campaign, Pastrnak still believes Draisaitl should get the nod given how he played even in the seven games McDavid missed this season.
“A Lot of people say, ‘Oh he’s playing with Connor (McDavid).’ Connor was hurt for a month and he brought it up even another level,” Pastrnak pointed out. “For me, it’s absolutely no question it’s going to be and should be Leon Draisaitl. The way he played this year is absolutely no question for me.”
In addition to becoming the first Bruin to win the Rocket Richard Trophy and becoming the first Bruin to lead the NHL in goals since Phil Esposito did it for six straight seasons from 1969-75, Pastrnak also won ‘The Golden Hockey Stick’ as the best Czech hockey player in the world for the 2019-20 season. Pastrnak has now won the award four-straight times, tying former Bruin and future hall of famer Jaromir Jagr for the most consecutive Golden Hockey Sticks.
“Huge honor obviously,” Pastrnak said of both awards. “Here in Czech, to tie Jaromir Jagr is obviously a huge honor. Rocket, sharing it with Alex, same thing, a huge honor. He’s been winning it every single year almost, so for me to share it with him is even more special.”