Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs): It’s no surprise that Matthews would be considered for the trophy, considering the four goals he scored in his NHL debut game. He was drafted first overall this season. He has been selected to play in this year’s All-Star Game for the Atlantic Division. He’s played 40 games this season with 21 goals, 15 assists and 36 points.
Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets): Laine was off to an amazing start for his rookie season with 42 games, 21 goals, 16 assists and 37 points. He was the second overall draft pick this season. Unfortunately, his chances of being awarded the trophy may be affected by the concussion he suffered on January 7th in a game against the Buffalo Sabres. He is still out on injured reserve with no timetable for his return. His appearance in the All-Star Game with the Central Division is also in jeopardy.
Jeff Carter (Los Angeles Kings): Carter seems like a natural choice for the Hart Trophy. He’s won the Calder Cup, the 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup, and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2014. He’s also just been selected for his second appearance at the All-Star Game with the Pacific Division. He’s played 42 games with 22 goals, 17 assists and 39 points this season.
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins, Captain): If I had to put money on a player to win the trophy, I’d bet on Crosby. He’s leading the league in goals with 26 this season in 36 games played with 20 assists and 46 points. He’s won numerous awards, including the Stanley Cup in 2009 and 2016, the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2010 and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2016. He will be returning to the All-Star Game this year as Captain of the Metropolitan Division.
Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers, Captain): He’s leading the league in scoring with 50 points this season with 44 games, 14 goals and 36 assists, though he recently had a streak of 10 games with no goals scored. He was the first round overall draft pick in 2015. He won a gold medal playing for Canada in the 2016 World Hockey Championship. On October 5, 2016, he was named Captain of the Oilers, making him the youngest Captain in NHL history. He’s also been named Captain of the Pacific Division for the All-Star Game this year.
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins): He is tied for second place in scoring with 46 points this season with 42 games, 18 goals and 28 assists. He has been selected for the All-Star Game for the seventh time (he withdrew twice due to injuries). He won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2012. He has also won the Stanley Cup in 2009 and 2016 as well as the Art Ross Trophy in 2009 and 2012, the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2007 and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2009.
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks): Last but not least, Patrick Kane with three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013 and 2015). He won the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award all in 2016, as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013 and the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2008. He’s been selected again for the Central Division of the All-Star Game this year. He’s played 45 games this season with 12 goals, 33 assists and 45 points.