Fresh off a dominant 110-point campaign that saw him net the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer, Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl has been named the winner of both the 2019-20 season’s Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award.
The pair of honours make Draisaitl the league’s MVP in the eyes of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and the NHL’s most outstanding player according to his fellow players, respectively.
In both award races, Draisaitl beat out Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin.
Draisaitl’s sterling season was the second 100-point effort of his career, and the only 100-point showing of any player during this COVID-19-shortened season.
Already the first German player to ever win an NHL scoring title, Draisaitl is now the first of his countrymen to earn either the Ted Lindsay or Hart Trophy, too.
He joins former NBA star Dirk Nowitzki as the only German-born players who have earned MVP honours in one of the four major North American professional sports leagues.
“Dirk was obviously someone that I look up to, someone that I admire: the way he presents himself and the way he really has achieved everything that there is to achieve for a professional athlete in North America,” Draisaitl said. “He’s always been someone that I look up and it’s a big honor for me to be in that conversation with him.”
As Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen pointed out on Sunday, the past six times that a player has won the scoring title by at least 10 points, he’s also won the Hart. That pattern holds true with Draisaitl getting the nod after topping the Art Ross runner-up – teammate Connor McDavid – by 13 points this season.
With the Ted Lindsay Award win, Draisaitl becomes the fourth Oiler to be voted MVP by his fellow players. Wayne Gretzky netted those honours five times during his illustrious career, while Mark Messier did once and McDavid has won twice so far.
The Oilers have won the award second-most among all NHL clubs, and now sit just one back of the Pittsburgh Penguins in that regard, with Draisaitl’s win ranking as the organization’s ninth overall.
“It’s a nice personal reward,” Draisaitl said. “But there’s nothing that comes ahead of the Stanley Cup. That’s the same for any player in the league. If I could hand those two or three awards back in for a Stanley Cup, I would do that in a heartbeat and I think so would everyone else.”