"It's a huge night for me and my family," the right wing said. "Thanks to my teammates, my coaches, all the trainers, everybody involved in the team. Thanks to them for helping me get here. Without them, without all the work we've done together, I wouldn't be here. A big part of this success just goes to all of them. Thanks to my boys, and I'm looking forward to next year."
Kucherov won the Art Ross Trophy by leading the NHL with 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists), breaking Alexander Mogilny's single-season record of 127 set with the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93 for most by a Russia-born player. It was also the most by any NHL player since 1995-96, when Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux had 161 and teammate Jaromir Jagr had 149.
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Kucherov played all 82 games and had at least one point in 62, including 38 games with at least two points. The Lightning went 54-5-3 when he had a point and 8-11-1 when he didn't. They 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) to win the Presidents' Trophy, but were swept by the Columbus Blues Jackets in the Eastern Conference First Round.
"It sounds great, obviously, but the main thing is Stanley Cup," Kucherov said. "We want to make sure we work harder than we thought we did. We want to bring the Stanley Cup back. All these individuals are really nice, but the main thing is [the] Stanley Cup for me."
Kucherov became the second Lightning player to win the Hart Trophy (Martin St. Louis, 2003-04), which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season. He also won the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association.
"When I came here the main thing was just try it out, try to make the team," Kucherov said. "When I made the team, all my thoughts are just to win the Cup and bring the Cup back to Tampa because people deserve it there. We've been playing good hockey, and I'm sure if we keep the team, we can bounce back."
The other finalists were Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid.
Video: Nikita Kucherov is presented the Hart Memorial Trophy
Crosby, who had 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) to become the only active NHL player with six 100-point seasons, has been a Hart finalist in four of the past six seasons.
McDavid, who won the Hart Trophy in 2016-17, tied his NHL best with 41 goals (2017-18) and had NHL career highs of 75 assists and 116 points.
2018-19 Hart Trophy voting
1. Nikita Kucherov, TBL 1677 (164-3-2-2-0)
2. Sidney Crosby, PIT 739 (3-65-33-26-11)
3. Connor McDavid, EDM 465 (1-35-23-22-29)
4. Johnny Gaudreau, CGY 442 (2-23-30-31-18)
5. Brad Marchand, BOS 322 (0-15-32-12-21)
6. Nathan MacKinnon, COL 265 (1-13-14-24-22)
7. Alex Ovechkin, WSH 213 (0-8-13-25-17)
8. Patrick Kane, CHI 125 (0-4-10-9-20)
9. Mark Giordano, CGY 66 (0-2-5-7-6)
10. Sebastian Aho, CAR 21 (0-1-2-1-1)
Jordan Binnington, STL 21 (0-1-2-1-1)
12. Mark Stone, VGK 18 (0-0-1-3-4)
13. Ryan O'Reilly, STL 15 (0-0-2-1-2)
14. Steven Stamkos, TBL 12 (0-1-0-1-2)
15. Patrice Bergeron, BOS 8 (0-0-0-2-2)
16. Aleksander Barkov, FLA 7 (0-0-0-2-1)
17. Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK 7 (0-0-0-1-4)
John Tavares, TOR 7 (0-0-0-1-4)
19. Ben Bishop, DAL 5 (0-0-1-0-0)
Brent Burns, SJS 5 (0-0-1-0-0)
21. Brayden Point, TBL 3 (0-0-0-0-3)
22. Darcy Kuemper, ARI 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Mark Scheifele, WPG 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL 1 (0-0-0-0-1)