The 2016 NHL Awards will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 22, and NHL.com staff members will be providing their selections for the winners.
The Hart Trophy is given "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team." The finalists for the 2015-16 season are forwards Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars.
Here are NHL.com's staff picks for the Hart Trophy:
Amalie Benjamin, Staff Writer
Patrick Kane: This one is easy. Kane scored 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists), topping the next closest competitor (Benn) by 17 points.
Brian Compton, Deputy Managing Editor
Sidney Crosby: The Penguins received a boost when Mike Sullivan replaced Mike Johnston as coach in December, and Crosby was superb after the move. He had more points (58) than any player in the NHL after Jan. 1 and led the Penguins from being outside of the playoff picture to having home-ice advantage in the first round.
Video: Picking The Hart Trophy winner
Nicholas J. Cotsonika, Columnist
Patrick Kane: Though Kane has a lot of help in Chicago, you're pretty darn valuable to your team when you produce 17 points more than anyone else in the League.
Tom Gulitti, Staff Writer
Patrick Kane: Crosby struggled in the first two months of the season before turning it on and Benn had a great season, but neither came close to matching Kane, who became the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the League's leader in points (106).
Adam Kimelman, Deputy Managing Editor
Sidney Crosby: Crosby's season mirrored the Penguins' play. When he struggled the first two months, the Penguins were down in the standings. His play turned around after Sullivan arrived Dec. 12; Crosby had 66 points in 52 games after Johnston was fired, tied with Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks for most in the League, and his 30 goals were second to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. He produced despite injuries to a number of key players and helped the Penguins finish second in the Metropolitan Division.
Mike G. Morreale, Staff Writer
Patrick Kane: Kane was second in the League with 46 goals, behind Ovechkin (50). He also set a Blackhawks record with a 26-game point streak from Oct. 17-Dec. 13, the longest in League history by a U.S.-born player.
Shawn P. Roarke, Director of Editorial
Patrick Kane: The only player to score more than 100 points during the 2015-16 season, Kane had 106 points, which was 17 more than his closest competitor, Benn. Simply, Kane was head-and-shoulders above any other player this season.
Dan Rosen, Senior Writer
Patrick Kane: No player had a bigger impact on the scoresheet and in wins than Kane. He had 16 goals and 40 points during his 26-game point streak, and Chicago went 15-7-4 during that span. Kane had at least a point in 64 of 82 games. Chicago was 45-12-7 when he had a point; 2-14-2 when he didn't.