Leon Draisaitl has been named the Hart Trophy winner for the 2019-20 season. Draisaitl is the first German-born player in the history of the NHL to win the Hart Trophy award. He’s also the fourth different player in Edmonton Oilers’ history to win the award with Connor McDavid doing so in 2016-17, Mark Messier winning it for the 1989-90 season and Wayne Gretzky winning it in eight consecutive seasons from 1979 to 1987.
It was an excellent season for Draisaitl who scored 43 goals and 110 points in 71 games. He’d rank first in the league in points-per-game at a 1.55 point-per-game clip, assists (67) as well as power play points (44). He’d average the most ice-time among forward with 22:37 played per game, tied Boston Bruins’ forward David Pastrnak for first in the NHL with 10 game-winning goals and finished in second in both even-strength points (66) and power-play goals (16).
“It’s a huge honor to me,” Draisaitl said. “All I can say is a huge thank you to my family, friends, obviously the Edmonton Oilers, the fans, the city of Edmonton. Without those people, this would never happen. This goes to them a little bit as well.”
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Though the Oilers’ best player is McDavid, arguably the best player in the NHL, Draisaitl was unbelievably good for the Oilers during the shortened 2019-20 season and was a legitimate threat to win this award due to his contributions to a successful regular season for the Oilers.
Edmonton was 24-5-2 when Draisaitl scored a goal this season and 13-20-7 when he didn’t. It’s hard to argue with those kind of numbers.
The team may have struggled once the NHL resumed play with the Oilers falling in four games to the Chicago Blackhawks in their best-of-five series during the qualifying round, but it’s hard to argue the success of the Oilers this season and it’s harder to imagine things would have gone this way without so much time off in between play.
Draisaitl would also take pride in being the NHL’s first German-born player to win the Hart Trophy and rightfully so.
“It’s a big honor,” Draisaitl said. “Our hockey’s getting much better (in Germany) and we’re producing more and more players so hopefully this will somehow give little kids maybe some more joy of playing hockey and starting hockey instead of other sports. If I can help with that in any way, then I’d love to do that.”
Draisaitl finished with 1,309 points, including 91 first-place votes. He’d edge out Nathan MacKinnon (1,162 points with 48 first-place votes) and Artemi Panarin (889 points with 24 first-place votes) to win the award.
Draisaitl Wins Ted Lindsay Award
Draisaitl would also win the Ted Lindsay Award this season which is given to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted on by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
The Ted Lindsay award is considered to be even more meaningful for players as it’s voted on by their peers which certainly holds weight.
“It’s just very special to get that recognition by your peers and by the guys that you play against all year, battle against,” Draisaitl said. “It means a lot.”
The Oilers will have to figure out some holes during the 2020 offseason but with players like McDavid and Draisaitl in the fold, it’s hard to imagine this team will have trouble being competitive in the coming years.
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Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.