Maybe that’s fitting in a year when the Oiler captain’s all-world accomplishments haven’t really been getting the recognition they deserve. Despite posting the second-highest point total in the last 16 years (123) McDavid is still considered an underdog for the Hart in some eastern circles.

“Not in my opinion, I can tell you that,” said Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft. “It’s quite clear to me. His impact on our team, on our organization and on our city makes it quite clear who the best player in the world is and who has the biggest impact.”

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews and New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin are the other two finalists.

“Everyone else who was up for that award, and the other two finalists, all had fantastic seasons,” said Woodcroft. “But, if you’re asking me who the best player in the world is, I’m glad that I get a front-row seat to coach him every night.”

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