Connor McDavid Wins Art Ross Trophy

USATSI_9989845_154158418_lowresConnor McDavid has secured the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer, putting together a 100-point season in just his second season in the league.

The 20-year-old had a pair of assists as his Edmonton Oilers took down the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night. That put an end to his regulation season on a 14-game point streak, which rounded off a year in which he had 30 goals and 70 assists.

McDavid finished 11 points ahead of Sidney Crosby, who won the Rocket Richard Trophy with 44 goals. Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Tampa Nikita Kucherov were tied for second with 40 goals. The Rocket Richard win marks the second time in his career that he finished the regular season tops in goals, with the first time coming in 2009-2010 when he tied Steven Stamkos with 51 goals.

McDavid was also 11 points ahead of last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner, Chicago’s Patrick Kane. Last season, Kane had 106 points to win the award.

Speaking of Matthews, he also led all rookies in scoring with a total of 69 points. Patrick Laine was second with 64 points, including 36 goals.

Matthews, Laine and McDavid highlight an impressive crop of young players currently turning heads in the NHL and leading their respective teams to newfound success. Both the Oilers and Maple Leafs will see post-season action for the first time in a number of years, with their young stars as catalysts for potential playoff success.

And Laine’s Winnipeg Jets may have come up short this season with a 40-35-7 record, but the 18-year-old Finnish forward has emerged and really lived up to the hype.

With the post-season set to commence on Wednesday, all eyes will turn to McDavid and Matthews. Both will have a chance to make waves in the playoffs. Both will hope to prove themselves in the race for hockey’s ultimate prize. And both will either thrive or collapse under the weight of near-impossible expectations.

For now, though, maybe it’s okay to revel in the glory of individual accomplishments.

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