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Scottsdale product, Maple Leafs standout Matthews named NHL MVP


Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs is the 2021-22 recipient of the Hart Memorial Trophy, presented “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Matthews, a Hart Trophy finalist for the second straight year after finishing second in voting in 2020-21, is the third Toronto player to win the award and first since Ted Kennedy in 1954-55.

The Maple Leafs star scored a decisive win by attracting 119 first-place votes and 49 second-place tallies among the 195 ballots cast en route to collecting 1,630 voting points. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, the two-time and defending Hart Trophy winner, received 29 first-place votes and 1,111 points in finishing second in the voting. Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers, the 2021-22 Vezina Trophy recipient, placed third with 738 points (24 first-place selections).

Matthews, who captured the 2021-22 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal-scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player in a vote by the NHLPA, posted career highs in goals (60), assists (46) and points (106) in 73 games to power the Maple Leafs to a fourth-place finish in the league standings as well as franchise records for wins (54) and points (115) in a campaign.

The Scottsdale native and Arizona Bobcats alum became the 21st different player in NHL history – and first in a decade – to register 60 goals in a season, breaking Rick Vaive’s Toronto record (54 in 1981-82) and Jimmy Carson’s league benchmark for U.S.-born players (55 in 1987-88). He did so by averaging 0.82 goals per game – the highest rate by any player in a single campaign (minimum: 50 GP) since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 (0.99) – and scoring 19.23 percent of the Maple Leafs’ total goals (60 of 312) – the fourth-highest such mark in 2021-22 behind only Chris Kreider (20.8% w/ NYR), Leon Draisaitl (19.3% w/ EDM) and Alex DeBrincat (19.25% w/ CHI).

Photo/Michael Caples/MIHockey

(June 22, 2022)

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