NHL Awards Rankings: New No. 1 in MVP race

This week, a familiar name joins the race for MVP. Where does Connor McDavid rank after a ridiculous run for himself and the Edmonton Oilers?

Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) looks to make a move.
Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) looks to make a move. / Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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1. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are the top team in the NHL. Again. We don't know how, but the Bruins have overcome losing David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron to still be a fantastic team. The goalies definitely help. Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman are two of the best between the pipes in the league. The defense has been great, as well. Charlie McAvoy probably doesn't get enough credit for how good he's been. Jim Montgomery is one of the best coaches in the NHL. The foundation is there for the Bruins, but greatness comes from players. None are better right now than David Pastrnak.

Pastrnak isn't a league leader anywhere. His 16 goals are fewer than Kucherov and Matthews. His 39 points are fewer than Kuch and J.T. Miller. Yet, his impact is still higher. He's carrying a line centered by Pavel Zacha, who the Devils traded straight up for Erik Haula. Zacha has been better in Boston, but it's mainly because he's playing alongside Pastrnak.

Pastrnak's ability to create chances in every way possible is what puts him ahead of others on this list. He has seven rush chances, 19 rebounds created, and 16 takeaways. Plus, Boston has 39 points, which is tied with the Rangers for the conference lead.

Pastrnak has always been an engine for the Bruins, but players like Bergeron have always held him back from winning the Hart Trophy. He came in second for the trophy last season, which very often leads to a trophy win the next year. Right now, he's on pace for it.

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