Back in July, the NHL announced that the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin had been named a finalist for the Hart Memorial and Ted Lindsay trophies.
On Monday night, the NHL announced that Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers won the Ted Lindsay and Hart Memorial trophies.
The Hart Memorial Trophy, originally known as the Hart Trophy, is awarded annually to the “player judged most valuable to his team”.
The Ted Lindsay Award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, is awarded annually to the National Hockey League’s most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHL Players’ Association.
Panarin was more than deserving of both of these awards, especially the Hart Trophy. It is always difficult to judge who is the most outstanding in a group of excellent players. However, there was a strong case to be made that Panarin was easily the most valuable of the nominees to his team.
After signing a seven-year contract with the Blueshirts on July 1, 2019, and helped the Rangers go 37-28-5 (.564 points percentage) in the regular season, after finishing 32-36-14 in 2018-19. He tied David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins for third in the league with 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) in 69 games. The 28-year-old forward ranked first in the league in even-strength points (71) and first among forwards in plus/minus (plus-36). He had at least one point in 54 games, including 28 multipoint games.
In 2019-20, Panarin became the fourth Ranger in franchise history to record 95 or more points and a plus-35 rating or better in the same season.
Panarin posted a plus-40 on-ice even-strength goal differential, leading the NHL. His plus-40 on-ice even-strength goal differential was also tied for the sixth-best an NHL player has recorded since the league began to track the statistic in 2009-10.
Along with Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Panarin is one of two NHL players who have tallied 70 or more points in each of the last five seasons. He is one of three undrafted players in NHL history who have tallied 70 or more points in each of his first five seasons (Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny).