AVALANCHE

Nathan MacKinnon cleans up at NHL Awards, wins first Hart Trophy

Jun 27, 2024, 5:57 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm

Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon was a big winner at the NHL Awards on Thursday night in Las Vegas, including taking home his first Hart Trophy.

Awarded to the NHL’s MVP, MacKinnon has been close to the Hart before, but never won it.

At least, not until now.

MacKinnon bested Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the honor, proving his season was the greatest among some extremely qualified candidates.

MacKinnon had a huge year, shattering personal records. He finished with 140 points, the most in his career in a single season by 29, after recording 111 in 2022-23.

He also scored more than 50 goals for the first time, finishing with 51 total. His 89 assists were by far the most he’s ever had in one year.

MacKinnon finished second in the NHL in points to Kucherov, who had 144. McDavid came in third with 132.

And don’t forget all the history MacKinnon made throughout this campaign. He had two four-goal games, a natural hat trick, and the second-longest home point streak in NHL history. He went 35 straight games at Ball Arena getting on the scoresheet, trailing only Wayne Gretzky’s 40-game record from the 1988-89 season. That’s pretty good company to be in.

It felt like every night MacKinnon was doing something historic, and this honor is the icing on the cake.

MacKinnon also took home the Ted Lindsay Award on Thursday. That’s given annually to the most outstanding player in the league as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players’ Association. He topped Kucherov and Toronto’s Auston Matthews to snag that trophy for the first time.

Both the media and fellow players felt he was the top dog this year.

Also of note on Thursday night from Vegas was Avalanche star defenseman Cale getting third in Norris Trophy voting. He lost out to Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes and Nashville’s Roman Josi, but Makar still had a great season with 90 points on 21 goals and 69 assists. Makar won the Norris two years ago.

MacKinnon had finished in the top-3 three times for the Hart Trophy, most recently in the 2020-21 season. This breakthrough has to feel good for the Avalanche’s best player, who also captured his first Stanley Cup in 2022.

Now, with even more hardware to his name, MacKinnon will continue to pursue another championship in Colorado. As sweet as the Hart Trophy and Lindsay Award are, another Cup would be even sweeter.

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