In more not so surprising NHL Awards news, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk, and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid were named 2023 Hart Trophy finalists on Friday night.
The Hart Trophy is awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” and voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The winner will be revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26 just prior to the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, which will also be in the same location June 28-29.
David Pastrnak, – who was also named a finalist the Ted Lindsay Award on Wednesday – scored a career-high 61 goals this season and finished second only to Hart Trophy (MVP), favorite Connor McDavid who led the league in goals with 64 lamplighters. With 52 assists, Pastrnak was tied for third in points (113), with Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov, behind McDavid’s teammate Leon Draisaitl who had 128 points and McDavid who became just the sixth player to reach the 150-point mark with 153.
Pastrnak, who signed an eight-year, $90 million ($11.25M AAV), extension back on March 2, became the first Boston Bruins player since Brad Marchand had 100 points (36 G, 64 A), in the 2018-19 regular season. The 26-year-old, 6-foot-1, 195-pound Pastrnak had the most points by a Boston Bruins player since Adam Oates finished the 1993-94 season with 112 points. He also became the first Bruins player to reach the 50-goal mark since current Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely scored 50 in 49 games of that same 1993-94 regular season.
The Boston Bruins drafted Pastrnak 25th overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has turned into one of the NHL’s most lethal goal scorers. He has cracked the 30-goal plateau seven times and the 40-goal mark four times. He shared the 2020 Rocket Richard Trophy with Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin when they both scored 48 goals.
Despite being hampered by a shoulder injury suffered in his first shift of the Bruins’ seven-game series loss to the Florida Panthers, Pastrnak still scored five goals in seven goals, including three in the last two games of the series.