NHL Awards Rankings: New No. 1 in MVP race

Now that we are at midseason, the NHL Awards Rankings are heating up, and the race for the Hart Trophy is no different.

New Jersey Devils v Tampa Bay Lightning
New Jersey Devils v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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The race for the NHL's coveted Hart Trophy is hotter than it’s been at any other time of the season and the sense of urgency is heating up around the league for the top contenders. This week, we’re giving you a list of just three names who deserve top consideration at midseason, given their respective contributions not only in their game, but to their respective teams. 

One player listed has been a catalyst in helping his team become arguably the hottest in the NHL at the moment. Another might be the best two-way forward in hockey, and the third is helping his team navigate through perhaps the league’s most competitive division. 

NHL MVP Power Rankings: Who takes over the No. 1 spot

3. Sam Reinhart, Florida Panthers

Sam Reinhart may be a surprise here, because he’s not incredibly close to the top of the league in points. But as of Friday afternoon, the Florida Panthers are riding a nine-game winning streak, and they can thank Reinhart for leading the way as of late. Going into Friday, Reinhart is riding a five-game points streak, with nine total points, seven goals, and two assists, and that’s just one reason he’s surging in the MVP race.

Through just 41 games, Reinhart only needs three more goals to tie his career-best, and four overall to set a new one. With 15 of his 30 goals coming on the power play, he’s also just two away from snagging a new career-high in that category, and he’s already shattered his personal best in scoring nine game-winning goals. 

And yeah, those game-winners so far in 2023-24 have been extremely important to the Panthers, and it’s a major reason why they’re about to surge past the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Atlantic. If Reinhart keeps up his current tear and the Panthers keep winning, he will have a Hart Trophy next to his name in the record books.