NHL Awards Rankings: New No. 1 in MVP race

The NHL MVP rankings are heating up, and this week, we have a new number one in the race for the Hart Trophy.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Colorado Avalanche
Tampa Bay Lightning v Colorado Avalanche / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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4. Cale Makar, D, Colorado Avalanche

We knew Cale Makar was an outstanding player, as he has a Norris Trophy, a Calder, and the Conn Smythe Trophy attached to his name. But if he continues to score at his current pace, the Hart Trophy could be his at season’s end.

Makar currently has 34 points, seven goals, and 27 assists in just 22 games to go with a plus-18, and he’s scored at least a point in four of his past five games at the time of this writing. And don’t think Makar is just a defenseman who can score, as the Avalanche have had at least a 92.0 save percentage when he’s been on the ice in each of the last three seasons at 5-on-5. 

3. J.T. Miller, C, Vancouver Canucks

You can make a good case that the Vancouver Canucks have been the NHL’s most exciting team, and much of that has to do with J.T. Miller. Miller has received a few votes for the Hart in the past, but this season, he could be a finalist if he continues helping the Canucks stay atop the league. 

So far in 2023-24, Miller has 36 points in 24 games, including 13 goals and 23 assists. He scored a career-high 99 points in 2021-22 in 80 games, and the center could easily supersede 100 points at his current rate, bringing in a new personal best.