Way-Too-Early Ranking of the Top Candidates for the 2016-17 Hart Trophy

November 19th, 2016 by Carol Schram Leave a reply »
We're not even 20 games into the 2016-17 NHL campaign, but it's never too early to think about who might be named the league's most valuable player at the end of the regular season.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association rank their top five candidates each year, then the three finalists are invited to Las Vegas, where the Hart Trophy is handed out at the annual award ceremony in June.

As a rule, offensive stars get plenty of consideration. According to Hockey Reference, six of the last 10 Hart winners also won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer, while three of the remaining four won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer. The other was a goalie.

The goaltenders, defensemen and bringers-of-intangibles traditionally have the odds stacked against them in the voting. With that very much in mind, here are the 10 top early-season candidates for Hart consideration this season.

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