NHL News: 3 Finalists Named For Hart Trophy

As the season wore on, it appeared that the race for the Hart Trophy would be decided from among four players. But of course, only three get to make the list of Finalists. One of those would be left out of the mix. Turns out that one would be Auston Matthews. 

Nikita Kucherov, Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid are the final three. 

All had spectacular seasons. Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov set a franchise record and a career-high with 144 points on 44 goals and 100 assists. He'll be going for his second Hart Trophy win.

MacKinnon had his second straight 100-point season for the Colorado Avalanche, and wasn't far behind Kucherov at 140 points, on 51 goals and 89 assists. The 28-year-old led the NHL in shots on goal with 405. This is McKinnon's fourth time as a top-three finalist for the Hart.

McDavid got off to a slow start to the season, but came on like gangbusters as the Edmonton Oilers sorted things out and moved into a new gear in mid-November. He finished with 132 points on 32 goals and 100 assists, his seventh time surpassing the 100-point mark. 

He'll be looking for his fourth Hart Trophy. 

As for Matthews, his 69-goal season for the Toronto Maple Leafs left him short of the final consideration. 

Photo; © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports