As expected (and there would have been riots if it didn’t happen), Artemi Panarin is a finalist for the Hart Trophy for league MVP.
Your 2020 Hart Trophy finalists. #NHLAwards
— NHL (@NHL) July 21, 2020
Panarin is more or less the sole reason why the Rangers are even in the play-in round this year. Yes, there were contributors elsewhere, but without Panarin, the Rangers would have been much closer to the bottom of the division.
Panarin put up an amazing 32-63-95 while playing primarily with Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast. Other finalists Nathan MacKinnon (35-58-93) and Leon Draisaitl (43-67-110) played primarily with Gabriel Landeskog/Mikko Rantanen and Connor McDavid, respectively. It’s safe to say Panarin did more with a lot less than both.
Panarin is also a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award for –more or less– MVP as voted on by the players. As were the other two guys. Yes I’m biased, but Artemi Panarin deserves the Hart Trophy more than the other two.