Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Igor Shesterkin Named 2022 Hart Trophy Finalists

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 12, 2022

TORONTO, ON - MAY 10: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period in Game Five of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scotiabank Arena on May 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid were named the finalists for the 2021-22 Hart Trophy on Thursday.

The Hart Trophy is the NHL's equivalent of its Most Valuable Player Award.

The league's awards will be announced during the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final.

Matthews and McDavid are finalists for the second straight season, and the Oilers star came away with the award in 2020-21. McDavid was once again the sport's most dominating offensive force this year, leading the NHL with a career-high 123 points. The 25-year-old has scored at least 100 points in five of his seven pro seasons and is looking for his third Hart Trophy.

Matthews blasted his career highs in scoring this season, leading the NHL with 60 goals and adding 46 assists for the Maple Leafs. If team success matters much to the voters, Toronto finished with 11 more regular-season points than Edmonton, though both breezed into the playoffs.

Recent odds have been more in favor of Matthews winning the individual honor.

Shesterkin isn't likely to win the trophy but is being recognized for having by far the most brilliant regular season for a goaltender. He went 36-13-4 while leading the NHL in goals-against average (2.07) and save percentage (.935). 

A goaltender has not won the Hart Trophy since Carey Price in 2014-15 and has done so only twice during the 21st century.