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NHL Awards

Matthews of Maple Leafs wins Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player

Center led League in goals with 60, tied for sixth in points

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Matthews wins Hart Trophy

Auston Matthews wins Hart Trophy for NHL MVP

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews wins the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player for 2021-22

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Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Hart Trophy voted as the most valuable player in the NHL at the 2022 NHL Awards on Tuesday.

Matthews led the NHL with 60 goals, the most ever in a season by a Maple Leafs player and most by a United States-born player in a season. The center was the first to score that many since Steven Stamkos scored 60 for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011-12.

"It's nice. I can't lie," Mathews said. "It feels really good. It's special to have my family here with me. A lot of great players in that room, a lot of really deserving guys. Definitely pretty special."

Matthews tied Stamkos for sixth in the NHL with 106 points (46 assists) in 73 games, was first with 348 shots on goal and was fifth in game-winning goals (10). He scored 16 power-play goals, which was tied for third, and was plus-20 while averaging 20:37 of ice time per game. Matthews has scored at least 34 goals in each of his six NHL seasons, leading the League in each of the past two (41 goals in 52 games last season).

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid was second and New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin was third as the other finalists for the Hart Trophy, which was voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association before the postseason began.

Matthews is the second U.S-born player to win the Hart; Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane won it in 2015-16.

"I know from my perspective [Kane] was my guy growing up and he's still one of my favorite guys to watch today," Matthews said. "So I'm sure there's younger kids that look at me probably the same way I looked at him. It's pretty cool and special to think about that and just realize the impact we have as players on people and the younger generation coming up."

Matthews helped Toronto (54-21-7) to the most wins and points (115) in its history and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight season. A two-time finalist, he was runner-up to McDavid last season. Matthews is the third Maple Leafs player to win the award and first since Ted Kenney in 1954-55.

"I think it's a tremendous honor to wear the blue and white and represent the city of Toronto and wear the Maple Leaf every night," Matthews said. "The guys that have come before us and just the history that's embarked on this organization, it means a lot. So any time you get your name mentioned in history in an organization like that, it's definitely pretty special and something I don't take for granted."

Earlier in the night, Matthews won the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player in voting by the NHL Players' Association. He is the first Maple Leafs player to win that award.

Matthews also was named to the NHL First All-Star Team.

"We've spoken about it a lot and for good reason," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said of Matthews earlier this season. "He's been such a significant contributor in so many areas for our team, and the other part is it's been so consistent. I mean, the goal scoring has been so consistent, at a pace higher than anybody else. Five-on-5 scoring in particular, which is the hardest thing to do in our game, scoring at even strength, he does that at a rate that nobody in the game has been able to keep up with for the last few years.

"… It's tremendous for him to have this honor and tremendous for the Leafs. I know it's been a long time to have a player to be honored like that."

2022 Hart Trophy voting

Points (1st-5th)

1. Auston Matthews, TOR 1630 (119-49-15-6-4)

2. Connor McDavid, EDM 1111 (29-66-56-20-19)

3. Igor Shesterkin, NYR   738 (24-26-41-29-24)

4. Johnny Gaudreau, CGY 617 (3-19-44-66-36)

5. Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA 506 (13-21-21-31-31)

6. Roman Josi, NSH 241 (5-8-10-19-28)

7. Kirill Kaprizov, MIN 126 (2-4-4-13-19)

8. Cale Makar, COL 48 (0-1-3-5-11)

9. Leon Draisaitl, EDM 28 (0-1-1-3-7)

10. Alex Ovechkin, WSH   10 (0-0-0-2-4)

11. Steven Stamkos, TBL 6 (0-0-0-0-6)

12. Aleksander Barkov, FLA 4 (0-0-0-1-1)

13. Jason Robertson, DAL 3 (0-0-0-0-3)

14. J.T. Miller, VAN 1 (0-0-0-0-1)

14. Matthew Tkachuk, CGY 1 (0-0-0-0-1)

Points allocation: 10-7-5-3-1 (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th) staff writer Tom Gulitti contributed to this report

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