Lightning's Nikita Kucherov wins the Hart Trophy

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Nikita Kucherov is a Hart Trophy winner. (Getty)
Nikita Kucherov is a Hart Trophy winner. (Getty)

For his brilliant offensive season, Tampa Bay Lightning dynamo Nikita Kucherov has been named the Hart Trophy winner and the NHL’s most valuable player.

With 128 points, or the most in a single season over the last 23 years, Kucherov won the NHL’s scoring race by 12 points over Connor McDavid and won the Art Ross Trophy for the first time.

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Kucherov’s previous career high was 100 points. He’s now seen a minimum 15-point increase in each of the last four seasons.

The Lightning winger led the league in assists, power-play points and was only held off the scoresheet 20 times en route to the highest individual NHL honour. He also set the single-season record for points scored by a Russian-born player.

With his incredible offensive season, Kucherov was the driving force behind the most prolific team attack of the last decade. Tampa Bay scored 319 goals on its way to a historic 62-win season; only the 2009-10 Washington Capitals eclipsed 300 goals in a season over the last 10 years.

Kucherov is the first Lightning player to win the NHL’s MVP award since Martin St. Louis in 2004.

McDavid and Sidney Crosby were the other players up for the honour in Vegas, but Nathan MacKinnon, Brad Marchand and Patrick Kane also received consideration.

(CAN ADD NOTE ABOUT OTHER LIGHTNING WINNERS)

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