TORONTO (May 8, 2024) - The National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today the three finalists for the 2023-24 Ted Lindsay Award are forwards Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The TLA is presented annually to “the most outstanding player in the NHL,” as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

This season’s trio of finalists includes two past recipients, Kucherov (2018-19) and Matthews (2021-22), who are each seeking their second TLA, as well as MacKinnon who is looking to receive his first award in his third season as a finalist (also 2017-18, 2019-20). Yesterday, Kucherov and MacKinnon were announced as finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, while Matthews was recently named a finalist for the Selke Trophy and Lady Byng Trophy.

Formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, the TLA is the namesake of the first president of the original Players’ Association and NHLPA pioneer, Ted Lindsay. This season marks the 53rd presentation of the only NHL award voted on by the players themselves.

The three TLA finalists received the most votes from their peers based on their 2023-24 regular-season campaigns, and are listed as follows:

NATHAN MACKINNON, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon played in all 82 regular-season games for the Colorado Avalanche in 2023-24. The forward from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, set career highs in goals (51), assists (89) and points (140 points) - the latter of which established a new single-season franchise record. MacKinnon opened the season with a 35-game home point streak - the second longest such streak (Wayne Gretzky, 40-game home point streak in 1988-89) in NHL history. He led all scorers in even-strength points (92), ranked first in shots on goal (405), placed second in both power-play points (48) and even-strength goals (41), finished third in both assists (89) and primary assists (50) and ranked fourth in goals. In his 11th NHL season, MacKinnon led all forwards in total time on ice (1,870:46). As a three-time TLA finalist (also 2017-18, 2019-20), MacKinnon is seeking his first award and looks to become the second Avalanche player (Joe Sakic, 2000-01) to receive the honour. 

NIKITA KUCHEROV, Tampa Bay Lightning
Kucherov played in 81 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2023-24 regular season. The forward from Maykop, Adygea, Russia, set a single-season franchise scoring record (144 points), and won his second Art Ross Trophy (also 2018-19) after leading the NHL in scoring. Kucherov tied for the league lead in assists (100) as the fifth player in NHL history to reach the century mark, while setting a new NHL record for most assists by a winger. He factored on 50% of his team’s goals this season - the 12th time in NHL history a player has reached the mark. Kucherov tied for first in primary assists (62), finished first in power-play points (53) and ranked second in even-strength points (91). In his 11th year in the NHL, the forward set career highs in goals (44), assists, points and average time on ice (21:40). Kucherov is seeking his second TLA (2018-19) in six seasons.

AUSTON MATTHEWS, Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthews played in 81 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2023-24 regular season. The forward from Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, won his third Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (also 2020-21, 2021-22) after leading all NHL scorers in goals (69) with the highest single-season goal total among active players. Matthews became the eighth player in NHL history to reach 51 even-strength goals in a season. He recorded 12 more total goals and 10 more at even strength than the next highest ranked player in each category. Matthews placed second in the league in takeaways (85) and third in shots on goal (369). With six hat tricks this season, he became the 10th different player in league history to record as many in one season. In his eighth NHL season, Matthews set career highs in goals, points (107) and faceoff wins (705). Matthews is seeking his second TLA (2021-22) in three seasons.

About the Ted Lindsay Award:
The Ted Lindsay Award is unique as the only NHL award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established in 1970-71 with the Lester B. Pearson Award. NHLPA members annually vote on the player they deem to be the most outstanding in the NHL regular season. The award was reintroduced in 2009-10 as the namesake of the late Ted Lindsay to honour his legacy as a Hockey Hall of Fame forward known for skill, tenacity and leadership, along with his role in establishing the original Players’ Association. For more information on the TLA, visit Join the conversation by using #TedLindsayAward.­­­­­­