Kucherov Hart Trophy Finalist Graphic _ 1920x1080

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are the three finalists for the 2023-24 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.

Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning

Kucherov paced the NHL and set a franchise record with 44-100—144 (81 GP) – the second-most points by any player over the past 28 years – to capture his second career Art Ross Trophy (also 2018-19) and propel the Lightning to their seventh consecutive playoff berth. He factored on exactly half of Tampa Bay’s 288 total goals (excluding shootout-deciding goals), marking the 12th instance in League history of a player registering points on at least 50 percent of his team’s scoring within a single season – and just the third occasion this century, after Connor McDavid with the Edmonton Oilers in both 2020-21 (57.4%) and 2018-19 (50.7%). Kucherov finished 54 points ahead of his closest teammate (Brayden Point: 46-44—90 in 81 GP), the largest gap between a team’s top two scorers since the 2000-01 Florida Panthers (55: Pavel Bure: 59-33—92 in 82 GP and Viktor Kozlov: 14‑23—37 in 51 GP). Kucherov, who capped 2023-24 by becoming the fifth different player in NHL history – and first winger – to produce 100 assists in one season (tied for the League lead with McDavid), also ranked among the top performers in power-play assists (1st; 40), power-play points (1st; 53), three-point games (1st; 23 – the most by any player since 1995-96), four-point games (t-1st; 8), multi-point games (t-2nd; 41), shots on goal (8th; 306) and goals (10th; 44). The 30-year-old Kucherov – a finalist for the second time after capturing the award in 2018-19 – is seeking to become the fourth active player with multiple Hart Trophy wins, following McDavid (3x), Alex Ovechkin (3x) and Sidney Crosby (2x).