Despite falling short of the Western Conference Finals, Nathan MacKinnon has been named as the season MVP for the Colorado Avalanche in the recently held 2024 NHL Awards. The star center finished with a total of 140 points in this season, claiming the Hart Trophy after a sweep among voters. He also takes the Ted Lindsay Award home on top of the MVP award.

It can be remembered that MacKinnon finished four times as a finalist for the Hart Trophy, but has not won in all of those campaigns until now. MacKinnon also finished as a finalist for the third time in the Ted Lindsay Award, which is an award given to the most outstanding player in the season as voted by the NHL Players’ Association.

The Avalanche were eliminated by the Dallas Stars in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, lasting a total of six games. Still, that doesn’t mean that MacKinnon didn’t have a massive season himself, which says a lot about how his explosive performances have led the Avalanche to a strong rally so far.

Still, MacKinnon clearly deserved to win the MVP, and one can say that the star center has proven his worth time after time.

A Performance Defined by Tough Struggles

MacKinnon has been long gunning for the Hart Trophy. The Avalanche star finished as a runner-up back in the 2017-18 season behind the New Jersey Devils, and had the same finish in the 2019-20 season when Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers won the award. When another Oilers star in Connor McDavid took home the Hart Trophy in the 2020-21 season, MacKinnon finished third on that regard, while Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs finished as the runner-up.

In just 82 games, MacKinnon finished the season with a total of 140 points, coming off 51 goals and 89 assists. Both of these are career-highs, which says a lot about his success in the game as a promising star.

“Every player I grew up idolizing has their name on these things, so to be a part of that company is surreal," MacKinnon said. "It hasn't really sunk in. It's definitely a special thing. All the boys helped me a lot and so many people to thank, but it's definitely cool to be a part of it. I know it's an individual award, but you feel like you're connected to these all-time greats."

After the show, both NHL greats Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky called MacKinnon via his phone to congratulate him. It is worth noting that Gretzky swept the same trophies five times, while Crosby won both trophies in the 2006-07, 2012-13, and 2013-14 seasons. The award also marks MacKinnon as the 24th player to sweep both the Hart and Lindsay awards in the same season.

Other Awards Named to Deserving Players

Aside from MacKinnon, Connor Bedard was named the rookie of the year with the Calder Memorial Trophy, leading all rookies with 22 goals and 61 points total. Connor Hellebuyck won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie, while Quinn Hughes won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the best defenseman in the season.

The 2024 NHL Awards was filled with a lot of stars and legendary figures in the game. It celebrated the greatness of NHL players for the 2023-24 season, which says a lot about the success of the league’s current edition, and it cannot be denied that the winning players were all deserving of their respective awards at the end

of the day.