Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews has won the Hart Trophy, becoming the third player in franchise history to win the NHL MVP award and the first since Ted Kennedy in 1955.
Matthews defeated finalists Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers for the Hart at the NHL Awards on Tuesday night in Tampa, Fla.
“Congratulations to Igor, Connor on amazing seasons,” Matthews said in his Hart acceptance speech. “Like I said before, so much respect for you guys, you guys are amazing at what you do.”
Matthews, who was a Hart Trophy finalist for the second straight year after finishing second in voting in 2020-21, was the overwhelming pick this season. He got 119 first-place votes and 49 second-place counts, garnering 1,630 points.
McDavid, the two-time defending Hart Trophy winner, received 29 first-place votes and 1,111 points to finish second in voting. Shesterkin, who earlier in the evening won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, finished third with 738 points.
The Hart Trophy marked Matthews’ second honor of the night, after being named the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player by his peers.
“My family, it means the world to me to have you here with me, thank you guys for your unwavering support, I can’t thank you guys enough,” Matthews said in his Ted Lindsay Award acceptance speech. “It just means a lot to be recognized by my peers and the guys that I compete against every night, that I fight against, it just means a lot.”
Matthews, who played in 73 regular-season games for Toronto, was instrumental in helping the Maple Leafs to a franchise-best season with 115 points.
“I want to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs from top to bottom,” Matthews said. “The management, the property, the coaches, all the staff, every single one of my teammates – this won’t happen without you, so thank you.”
In addition to leading the Leafs in points this season with 106, Matthews led the league in goals with 60, setting a franchise record that also earned him his second straight Rocket Richard Trophy.
“All fans, Toronto Maple Leafs fans, Leaf Nation, there’s no one like you guys,” Matthews said. “My family, once again, loves you guys so much. It means the world to me to have you here. I know Father’s Day was a few days ago, but Brian, this one’s for you.”