And the nominees for the 2017 Hart Memorial Trophy are……. Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Ted Lindsay Award is awarded to “the player judged most valuable to his team.” Crosby has previously been nominated 4 times, with 3 wins. Burns and McDavid are first-time nominees.
Brent Burns scored 29 goals and 76 points in 82 games this season, both tops amongst defensemen. He lead his team in points, was tied for first in team goal-scoring, and was first in time on ice per game. He scored the highest amount of goals for a defenseman since Mike Green’s 31 goal season in 2008/2009, and lead his team to their second consecutive playoff-berth. Burns was the best Sharks defenseman in 5v5 CF% with 53.71, and had a 5v5 xGF% of 51.76. His relative possession stats were also good, with a 5v5 Rel.CF% of 4.47 and a 5v5 Rel.xGF% of 0.48.
(I did a write up on the Hart Trophy nominees, which include write-ups on Crosby and McDavid, the same as the ones below. You can read it here)
Sidney Crosby scored 44 goals and 89 points in 75 games this season, leading the league in goals for the first time in 7 years and finishing second in the league in points. His 1.19 points per game also rank second in the NHL among players with at least 25 games played. He was a positive possession player with a 5v5 CF% of 53.89 and a 5v5 GF% of 55.51, and he factored in to 31.6% of his teams offense this year. His possession stats are even better considering relative to his team, he was even better, with a 5v5 Rel.CF% of 5.63 and a 5v5 Rel.xGF% of 4.90.
Connor McDavid lead the league in scoring this season with 30 goals and 100 points in 82 games this season. He was the only player to score 100 points this season, and aside from Sidney Crosby, the only other active player to score 100 points in a season while starting the season under the age of 20. McDavid was a positive possession player with a 5v5 CF% of 53.04, an 5v5 xGF% of 56.11, and he factored in to 40.5% of all the Oilers offense this year, and had great relative stats as well, with a 5v5 Rel.CF% of 4.55 and a 5v5 Rel.xGF% of 9.5.
And the winner is……
Connor McDavid. Like the with the Hart Trophy, Connor McDavid should win the Ted Lindsay this year. Simply put, he was the best player this season. His 100 points lead the league, he was constantly putting players on their heels with his blazing speed, and he was competent defensively. He was a constant threat to put up points, as evidenced by his 1.22 points per game, first in the league overall (including players who only played 1 game or so, which tend to add outliers). Overall, McDavid dominated, and should win his first of many Ted Lindsay Awards.