Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl wins big at NHL awards

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Leon Draisaitl is the NHL‘s best player for the 2019/20 regular season.

The Edmonton Oilers centre won both the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award, the league announced Monday afternoon.

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Draisaitl, 24, topped the NHL in scoring with 110 points — 13 points better than teammate Connor McDavid — and Draisaitl’s 67 assists were the most in the NHL.

He added 43 goals, the fourth-most in the league.

Click to play video: 'Gretzky, Messier, McDavid, Kurri, Draisaitl, Smyth win Global News fan poll for all-time all-star forwards' Gretzky, Messier, McDavid, Kurri, Draisaitl, Smyth win Global News fan poll for all-time all-star forwards
Gretzky, Messier, McDavid, Kurri, Draisaitl, Smyth win Global News fan poll for all-time all-star forwards – Jun 18, 2020

“It’s obviously very exciting. It’s a big deal for me,” Draisaitl said Monday. “At the same time, I know that there are so many people that have helped me get to this point. There are so many I have to thank. Family, friends, coaching staff, they trust me, teammates most importantly. The fans.

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Draisaitl was all over the scoresheet on several occasions. On Nov. 10, he had four assists in a game against the Anaheim Ducks. Just four days later, he racked up five helpers against Colorado. On March 2, Draisaitl posted the first four-goal game of his career as the Oilers routed Nashville 8-3.

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The Hart Trophy is awarded to the NHL’s most valuable players as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

The other finalists were Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin from the New York Rangers. Draisaitl is the fourth Oiler to win the Hart. Wayne Gretzky captured it eight seasons in a row from from 1980 to 1987. Mark Messier took it home in 1990, while McDavid grabbed it in 2017.

McDavid had one first place vote this year and was fifth overall.

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The Ted Lindsay Award goes to the league’s most outstanding player with votes cast by members of the NHL Players’ Association.

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“That means a lot. That’s always very important to you personally, how the players you play against and battle against every night, how they see you,” explained Draisaitl. “Getting recognition from their side, that means a lot to me.”

MacKinnon and Panarin were also the other two finalists for the Lindsay. McDavid won it in 2017 and 2018. Gretzky won it five times with the Oilers and Messier won it once.

The awards were presented online because of the pandemic. Messier announced Draisaitl as the Hart winner while Gretzky handled the Hart.

“They’re obviously superstars and legends of the game,” said Draisaitl. “They’ve won I don’t know how many of those awards. I’m sure they know what I’m feeling like right now.”

Also on Monday, Nashville’s Roman Josi won the Norris Trophy as best defenceman. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuych took home the Vezina as best goalie. Colorado’s Cale Makar won the Calder as rookie of the year with the Oilers Ethan Bear finishing tenth.

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