Taylor Hall Wins 2018 Hart Trophy

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2018

New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of Game 4 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall was named the NHL's Hart Trophy winner as the league MVP on Wednesday at the league's annual awards show in Las Vegas.

Hall, 26, scored 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in the 2017-18 season, setting career highs in all three categories and finishing sixth in the NHL in points. He also helped to lead the Devils back to the postseason for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign.

Just how valuable was Hall for the Devils? The second-leading scorer on the team was Nico Hischier with 52 points. Hall, without question, carried New Jersey's offense this past season.

He's also made history as the organization's first player to win the Hart Trophy. But Hall believes he's just getting started.

"I think in the playoffs, I played OK, but there's still another level you have to get to," he said, per Abbey Mastracco of NorthJersey.com. "In the playoffs, you see the way the top guys play. They find a way to raise their game. I can still get better."

Hall beat out fellow finalists Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche for the award.

Kopitar, 30, set career highs in points (92), goals (35) and assists (57) in the 2017-18 campaign, leading the Kings back to the postseason after a one-year absence. He was one of the NHL's top two-way players, also being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward).

Finally MacKinnon, 22, set career highs in points (97), goals (39) and assists (58), finishing fifth in the NHL in points. The Avalanche reached the postseason this year after managing just 48 points last season, easily the worst mark in the NHL.

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