Connor McDavid Earns Art Ross Trophy; Auston Matthews Wins Maurice Richard Trophy

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 19, 2021

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 29: Toronto Maple Leafs Center Auston Matthews (34) and Edmonton Oilers Center Connor McDavid (97) react during the second period of the NHL regular season game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 29, 2021, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews were unquestionably two of the best players in the NHL this season. Now that the regular season has wrapped up, those labels have become official.

With 105 points, McDavid clinched the 2020-21 Art Ross Trophy as the league's points leader, while Matthews claimed the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for the most goals during the season, tallying 41 in 52 contests. 

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Officially official.<br><br>Connor McDavid wins his third Art Ross Trophy, all before age 25.<br>Auston Matthews becomes the first U.S.-born player to win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy and second to lead the NHL in goals.#NHLStats: https://t.co/b4ziMLFz1k #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/s79Mhal1vD

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Auston Matthews had an eight-goal margin over his closest competitor, the largest by a Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner since 2014-15.#NHLStats: https://t.co/b4ziMLFz1k #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/6joaiN7BWi

It's the third time in the last five years McDavid has won the Art Ross Trophy, putting him just four away from tying Wayne Gretzky's total with the Oilers. Gretzky finished his career with 10 Art Ross wins, earning three more with the Los Angeles Kings after his time in Edmonton. 

McDavid posted 33 goals and 72 assists over the 56-game season, outscoring the second-place finisher in the Art Ross standings—teammate Leon Draisaitl (31 goals, 53 assists)—by 21 points. Now he's forever listed alongside Gretzky and Gordie Howe as the only players to win the award three times before turning 25 years old. 

The center factored in on 57.38 percent of Edmonton's 183 total goals this season, earning the highest single-season percentage in league history, just narrowly beating Mario Lemiuex's record of 57.35 percent in the 1988-89 season.

McDavid nearly won the Richard Trophy but finished second to Matthews, who became the first Maple Leafs player to clinch the honors. Matthews is also the first Toronto player to lead the league in goals since Gaye Steward (37) during the 1945-46 season—75 years ago.

Equally impressive, Matthews is just the second U.S. born player to lead the league in goals in NHL history. Keith Tkachuk was the first to do so with 52 goals in 81 games during the 1996-97 campaign. 

That makes Matthews the first American to win Richard Trophy since the award made its introduction in the 1989-99 season.