Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is one of three finalists for the 2016 Hart Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced Saturday. Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby are the others nominated for the award, which is given "to the player judged most valuable to his team."
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced June 22 at the 2016 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Kane, 27, likely already has the Art Ross Trophy locked up after leading the NHL in scoring with 106 points, the most since Evgeni Malkin recorded 109 in 2011-12. Kane is the first Chicago player to lead the league in scoring since Stan Mikita in 1967-68. No other player even topped 90 points during the regular season, so it's hard to imagine anyone overcoming Kane in the voting.
Mikita is also the last Blackhawk to win the Hart Trophy, winning in back-to-back seasons in 1967 and 1968. Bobby Hull also won the award in consecutive seasons (1965 and 1966), while Al Rollins (1954) and Max Bentley (1946) each took home the honor once.
Kane's 46 goals and 60 assists are NHL career-bests. He never had more than 30 goals, 59 assists or 88 points in any of his first eight NHL seasons. While his off-ice image has become increasingly complicated, nobody was more productive on the ice.
Benn, who led the NHL in scoring in 2014-15, recorded 89 points in 82 games with Dallas to finish second behind Kane in scoring. Crosby overcame a slow start to his season to finish with 85 points in 80 games for Pittsburgh. Those two are still playing for their respective teams in the playoffs, something Kane would probably take over an individual trophy, even if it's the league's top honor.
The Buffalo, N.Y., native is the first U.S.-born player to score 100 points since Doug Weight of the Edmonton Oilers had 104 in 1995-96. Kane is also the first Hawks player since Jeremy Roenick had 107 in 1993-94. Kane had 40 points during a 26-game point streak from Oct. 22 to Dec. 15 that was the longest in franchise history and the longest by an U.S.-born NHL player.
Here's how SCH voted on this year's awards.