Seguin and Crosby are Early Hart Trophy Favorites
The Hart Trophy is handed out annually to the league’s most valuable player, and each year the decision seemingly gets harder and harder. The names like Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, and Sidney Crosby have started to consistently find their way onto ballots, but this year, like last year with Carey Price, there could be some new names surfacing for nomination.
One of those new names is Tyler Seguin. Seguin is starting his third year in Dallas, and he’s loaded with more firepower on his side than ever before. He has had 161 points in 151 games over his tenure in Dallas, good enough for 1.11 points-per-game. Seguin and his partner in crime, Jamie Benn, have become one of the league’s best duos, even while missing their linemate Valeri Nichushkin for a majority of last season.
With all the skill up front, it’s not a bad guess if you penciled in Tyler Seguin to win the Art Ross as well. There is some competition, but with the likes of Benn, Sharp, Nichushkin, Klingberg, and others supporting him, it won’t be too far off. Seguin’s Hart campaign would take a significant boost if he were to lead the league in points and lead Dallas to the playoffs, which is looking more and more likely by the day. Seguin turns 24 this upcoming January and still has his best years ahead of him.
Along with Seguin, Sidney Crosby will be up in the rankings for both points and for the Hart Trophy. Crosby won it in 2007 and 2014, and has been nominated multiple times in between.
The big factor this season for Crosby is that he will have an already elite winger playing with him — Phil Kessel. Kessel was acquired this offseason from Toronto, and despite his defensive flaws, has been a consistent 30 goal scorer on a not-so-consistent Maple Leafs team. Crosby has made a living off making wingers better, such as Chris Kunitz, and the thought of him with Kessel, even if only on the powerplay, is something to shudder at. Nobody hit 100 points last season, but Crosby could easily do it this year.
Although both Seguin and Crosby will have some competition, they should be in the running for the Art Ross and Hart all year. Seguin was on pace to have a tremendous, maybe even Art Ross winning, season before his injury last year, and Crosby didn’t have much help overall. Both players will look to lead their teams back to the top of their divisions, something neither the Penguins nor the Stars achieved last year.