Patrick Kane praised Connor McDavid on Thursday and said the Edmonton Oilers center should clearly be the winner of the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player in the NHL this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks forward was asked his thoughts on being considered for the award, but quickly redirected the focus toward Edmonton.
“I don’t think anyone’s going to really touch McDavid this year,” Kane said. “He’s just head and shoulders the best player in the League, and their team is having a great year. But at the same time, it’s nice to hear those type of things. Usually it means your team is in a good position throughout the year as well.”
McDavid leads the NHL this season in scoring, with 63 points (21 goals, 42 assists) in 37 games for the Oilers (22-14-1), who are third in the Scotia North Division, four points behind the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs. The 24-year-old won the Hart Trophy in 2016-17 when he scored 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) in 82 games and was the top scorer in the NHL.
Kane has scored 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) in 37 games, third in the NHL behind McDavid and Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who has scored 54 points (19 goals, 35 assists) in 37 games. The 32-year-old won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, 2013 and 2015 and won the Hart Trophy in 2015-16 after he led the NHL in scoring with 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists) in 82 games.
Kane has scored seven points (one goal, six assists) during a five-game point streak with the Blackhawks hosting the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV).
“I think my scoring touch could be a little bit better,” Kane said. “I felt like I was getting a lot of chances up until the last game (a 2-1 win against the Hurricanes on Tuesday), and just trying to produce and help the team any way I can. Just trying to do my thing, get better every day and hopefully the goals will start coming, but I feel pretty good about my game all around. Just would like to improve the scoring touch a little bit, obviously.”
Chicago (17-15-5) is tied with the Nashville Predators for fourth place in the Discover Central Division; the top four teams in each division qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kane said he’s more focused on helping the Blackhawks get back into playoff picture than the Hart Trophy race.
“For me, I don’t really think about it too much, just want to help the team win,” he said. “Usually if you get your team into the playoffs, you have a better chance of being nominated or whatever it is. But I think McDavid is just head and shoulders above everyone this year.”