New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall has officially been nominated for the Hart Trophy, the Most Valuable Player of the 2017-18 NHL season.
We all knew it was coming. Now, it’s official.
Taylor Hall (@NJDevils), Anze Kopitar (@LAKings) and Nathan MacKinnon (@Avalanche) are the three finalists for the 2017-18 Hart Memorial Trophy. #NHLAwards https://t.co/3sH0oAWNEL pic.twitter.com/z4B1y9SKGh
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 27, 2018
Hall, 26, put forth the best season of his young eight-year career. With 39 goals and 54 assists for a total of 93 points, he led the Devils to 44 wins and an impressive Stanley Cup Playoffs berth in just his second season in Newark.
His 39 goals finished tied for ninth in the league and eight behind Alex Ovechkin’s league-leading 49. His 54 assists finished 19th in the NHL and 14 behind Blake Wheeler’s league-leading number of 68. With those 93, points, only five players tallied more during the entire season.
More than numbers, however, Hall was far and away the best Devils player from start to finish.
The Hart Trophy is nominated on by the NHL itself. Just prior to this nomination, Hall was also nominated for the Ted Lindsay Award which is essentially the other NHL MVP award but voted on the players.
Never has a Devil won the award. The great Martin Brodeur is the only player who’s been a finalist and each of three times it happened, he finished third. Zach Parise’s best finish was fifth back during the 2008-09 season.
Taylor Hall’s competition comes down to Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan McKinnon. The NHL Awards ceremony is set to take place on June 20.