NHL Awards Rankings: New No. 1 in MVP race

The NHL MVP race got a major boost with Jack Hughes' injury. Where does he rank now, and who takes the number one spot now that he's gone?
Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) and
Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (40) and / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

Many might be floored to see a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs on this list at all, let alone second on the list. However, Matthews has a healthy lead on everyone in goals with 13 (Brock Boeser is second in the league with 10). He's been the reason the Maple Leafs have been winning any games. Really, MVP is about the narrative. Matthews scored two goals in the second period against the Lightning after his team went down 4-1. The Leafs won in overtime. He has three hat tricks this season. If the Maple Leafs can keep winning, Matthews will stay in this Hart Trophy race.

1. Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks

We already mentioned the impact that Quinn Hughes is having on the Vancouver Canucks. He's the best defenseman through the league's first month. Thatcher Demko looks like a Vezina Trophy candidate. He's been one of the best in the league at his position. Brock Boeser is second in the league in goals with 10. Still, nobody is leading the Canucks to this start without Elias Pettersson. Pettersson is looking to put together the best contract year in league history. At this point, he's going to sign for all of the money. Literally all of it. He leads the league with 21 points. He's on the ice for close to 20 minutes per game. Pettersson doesn't need to carry his team like others on the list, but he's been the best player in the NHL this season.

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