MIAMI: Toronto Maple Leafs ace Auston Matthews was named as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, scooping the prestigious Hart Trophy after a prolific goalscoring campaign. Matthews also earned the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player in voting by the NHL Players Association earlier Tuesday. The two awards followed a 60-goal season from Matthews which led the NHL. Matthews has scored at least 34 goals in each of his six seasons in the league, and was top-scorer in 2021 as well as 2022. “I want to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs, top to bottom,” Matthews said after receiving the MVP.
“I want to thank the fans, Leafs Nation, there is nothing like playing in front of you.” Matthews beat out competition for the Hart Trophy from Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. In other awards handed out Tuesday, the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar scooped the Norris Trophy for best defenseman. Makar was instrumental in helping Colorado top the Western Conference in the regular season with 28 goals.
The Avalanche are currently battling the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup finals with game four set for Wednesday. The Detroit Red Wings’ Moritz Seider won the Calder Trophy for the NHL’s rookie of the year. The 21-year-old led rookie defensemen in assists (43) and points (50) over the season. The Rangers’ Shesterkin meanwhile won the Vezina Trophy for best goalie, beating the Calgary Flames’ Jacob Markstrom and Nashville’s Finnish shot-stopper Juuse Saros. – AFP