Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers were named finalists for the Hart Trophy on Sunday.
The award is given annually to the NHL player voted to be most valuable to his team.
The winner will be announced at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone at the Mandalay Bay Events Center sports and entertainment complex in Las Vegas on June 19.
Crosby had 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) to become the only active NHL player with six 100-point seasons. He's finished among the top 5 in Hart Trophy voting in five of the past six seasons and will finish no worse than third this season. The 31-year-old center ranked fifth in the NHL in face-off wins (1,012) and 15th in face-off winning percentage (55.4 percent) among players with at least 750 face-offs taken and was tied for 10th among NHL centers with Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks with 21:00 in average ice time. Crosby looks to become the second player this century to win the Hart Trophy after beginning the season at age 30 or older (Joe Sakic, 2000-01).
Video: NYR@PIT: Crosby gets 100th point on Guentzel's 40th
Kucherov won the Art Ross Trophy by leading the NHL with 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists). It's the most points by a Russia-born NHL player, breaking Alexander Mogilny's single-season record of 127 set with the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93 and the most by any NHL player since 1995-96, when Penguins center Mario Lemieux had 161 and teammate Jaromir Jagr had 149. The 25-year-old right wing also set Lightning records for assists and points in a season. The Lightning tied the NHL record for wins in a season with 62, equaling the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, and finished with the fourth-most points in NHL history (128). Kucherov played all 82 games and had a point in 62, including 38 games with at least two points. Tampa Bay went 54-5-3 when he had a point and 8-11-1 when he didn't. Kucherov looks to become the second Lightning player to win the Hart Trophy, joining forward Martin St. Louis in 2003-04.
Video: TBL@BOS: Kucherov sets record with his 128th point
McDavid tied a personal NHL-best with 41 goals (2017-18) and had NHL career-highs of 75 assists and 116 points this season. He ranked second in the NHL in points, 12 behind Kucherov. He was held without a point 12 times and never went consecutive games without at least one. The 22-year-old center finished in a three-way tie with Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche) and Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins) for game-winning goals (nine) and had NHL personal-highs in power-play goals (nine), power-play points (33), overtime goals (three), shooting percentage (17.1 percent) and face-off winning percentage (46.6 percent).
Video: EDM@VGK: McDavid ties career high with 41st goal
New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (No. 1 in the 2010 NHL Draft) won the Hart Trophy last season, and McDavid (No. 1 in the 2015 NHL Draft) won it in 2017.