Editorials

20 Hart Trophy Candidates

By Mike Brennan
Jan 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) scores a goal on Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens (40) during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) scores a goal on Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens (40) during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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hart trophy
Jan 17, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) skates with the puck as New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) chases in the second period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 17: Nicklas Backstrom, C, Washington Capitals

Backstrom is the Capitals’ top center on the line that also features Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie. He has 44 points — which is tied for 13th in the league — on 29 assists. He has been able to accumulate all these points because he is able to feed Ovechkin and create plays for him, which is his primary role on this league-leading Capitals team. He is just a pure playmaker playing with some of the best hockey players in the world, which is always a deadly combination.

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Backstrom means the world to his team. He is not afraid to pass the puck and create ice and plays for Oshie and Ovechkin. While there are other players in the league who can give the puck up to other players, Backstrom does it in the best of ways, so he can bring out the best qualities of his linemates. So while Backstrom does not have the numbers to lead the league in any major categories, he is a player who will get noticed for something like the Hart Trophy because he does his job well enough to get near the league leaders.

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