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Leon Draisaitl Wins Hart and Ted Lindsay

September 21, 2020, 8:14 PM ET [31 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
As if there was ever any doubt.

The votes are in and the announcement is official. Not only did Leon Draisaitl win the Art Ross for the most points in the League, scoring 110 points in a shortened season but he has now been giving more hardware with the Ted Lindsay and Hart trophies.

Leon Draisaitl finished the year playing in all 71 of the Oilers games, going 43-67-110. He outscored every other player in the league by a large margin, including his teammate who finished second in scoring with 97 points, Connor McDavid.

The naysayers will be quick to try and point out that Draisaitl isn't even the best player on his team, let alone the League and how he is only producing what he does because he plays next to Connor McDavid. First off, name another Hart Trophy winner who didn't play with good teammates. Second McDavid and Draisaitl did not play most of this season together and in fact Draisaitl became even more productive when he separated from McDavid, playing instead with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto. Draisaitl had a better season than Connor McDavid did. Without Draisaitl doing what he did the Oilers are not a playoff team. He dominated all season and is more than deserving.

The Ted Lindsay honours Leon as the most outstanding player of the year as voted by his peers, his fellow players around the league. Many would argue that the players find the Ted Lindsay more of an honor than the Hart because it is the acknowledgement of your opponents stating that you were the best. I never had any doubt that Leon would win the Ted Lindsay.

The Hart was another story. MacKinnon and Panarin were announced as the other finalists and while there was zero reason for Panarin to win, there certainly was a good argument for MacKinnon. The elite centre for the Avs posted a 35-58-93 record over 69 games, doing so even though injuries plagued his team all year. It was an impressive season for the 25 year old.

At the end of the day though the writers almost unanimously agreed on giving Draisaitl the top ballot. Draisaitl finished with 91 first place ballots with the next two highest being MacKinnon (48) and Panarin (24). Connor McDavid himself finished 5th in voting with one voter going as far as to list him first (something I disagree with).

A couple things stand out in the votes for me.

First off, I have massive questions for the writers who gave both Draisaitl and MacKinnon 5th place votes but even worse than that is that according to the NHL there were 170 votes cast. Adding up the numbers that means there were two voters who didn't select Draisaitl or MacKinnon in their top 5 at all. Please report to the nearest station and turn in your voting card please.

There are always a couple of odd names that pop up for a 5th place mention. Tristan Jarry received one 5th place vote and he did have quite the season for the Penguins. JT Miller also received a 5th place vote. The 27 year old had a career year in his first season with the Canucks, scoring 72 points in 69 games. No sign of Valeri Nichuskin anywhere on the scorecard.

One other player who should hold his head high is Oilers rookie defenceman Ethan Bear. Bear finished with three votes for the Calder, a third, fourth, and fifth place spot on the ballot. He played more minutes at 5 on 5 (1308:40) than any other rookie did, and in fact more than most players did. A third place ballot seems high and I would be curious to know which Edmonton writer gave him that but however you want to look at it, the 23 year old had a good first season.

The post-season certainly did not end on a high note but this should be enjoyed and remembered fondly by Oilers fans. Leon Draisaitl becomes the first German player to win a major NHL award and the Oilers have two players who swept all three awards (Ted Lindsay, Art Ross, Hart) currently playing in their prime and locked up long term. Leon and Connor are the future of this team moving forward and hopefully both men will win a few more big awards in their careers. Some Conn Smythe's and Stanley Cups would look great in their hands.
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