2023-01-01 · 3 min read · NHL/Hockey
Connor McDavid, Jason Robertson and David Pasternak

Mark Blinch/NHLI and Maddie Meyer via Getty Images | Gareth Patterson/AP

Let's look at where the NHL Hart rankings stand headed into 2023
5. Ilya Sorokin (New York Islanders)
  • The Islanders goalie may have finished second on our Vezina rankings, but he snatched the only goalie spot on the Hart ladder. This is because without him the Islanders very well could be a cellar dweller. Sorokin's record and Save % lag behind those put up by his main Vezina rival in Linus Ullmark, but when you dig deeper Sorokin’s value is apparent. The Islanders allow the sixth highest rate of xGA/60 and HDCA/60 as well as the ninth highest of SCA/60, The Bruins are top five in all these categories. Among qualified goalies, the 27-year-old ranks fourth in save % (.926), tied for first in shutouts (three) and is the league’s leader in GSAx (25.7), despite the Islanders giving up the highest danger scoring chances in the league.
4. Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche)
  • Mikko Rantanen has stepped up for the Avalanche with multiple key players missing time, including superstar and frequent linemate Nathan MacKinnon. Rantanen has not been slowed down by this however, as he currently sits tied for third in goals (26) and seventh in points (45). Rantanen is also sixth in goals created and seventh in offensive point shares. The most important stat in the Finns favour is that he leads the NHL in even-strength goals with 20, showing his value at 5 on 5.
3. David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins
  • With apologies to Linus Ullmark, Pastrnak has been the most valuable player for the league's best team. The Czech winger leads the Bruins in goals (24), assists (24), and, points (48), by a fairly wide margin as well. Pastrnak has 10 goals and 19 more points than the next Bruin, leading all their forwards in time on ice per game by over a minute. Against the entire field Pastrnak is sixth in points, tied for third in goals, eighth in point shares (6.1), and leads the NHL in shots (175). “Pasta” as he is known has shown no signs of slowing down with points in 12 of his last 13 games amounting to nine goals and seven assists.
2. Jason Robertson (Dallas Stars)
  • Expectations were high for the Stars winger this season after a breakout campaign in which he tallied a career-high 41 goals last year, more than doubling his career-high of 17 in the previous season; Robertson is surpassing those so far. Robertson is tied for fifth in shots (153), third in goals (24), while sitting third in points (52) and second in point shares (7.1). Robertson is also second in goals (18) and fourth in points (40) at even strength showing his value at 5 on 5. Despite doing much of his damage in the offensive zone, Robertson hasn’t neglected his defensive duties, as he has a high rate of takeaways per 60 at 5-on-5 (ninth among qualified forwards) without taking very many penalties in the process, ranking 386th out of 436 forwards in minor penalties per 60.
1. Conner McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)
  • McDavid continues to amaze, and unfortunately for players around the league, seems to find new ways to improve every year. This year he decided he would become one of the leagues premier goal scorers in addition to maintaining his status as the games preeminent playmaker. McDavid currently leads in goals (32), assists (40), points (72), lapping the field with 15 more points than any other NHL player so far this season. McDavid also paces the league in powerplay goals (14), goals created (27.6), offensive point shares (7.4) and total point shares (8.5); his offensive point shares are enough that if he had no defensive point shares he would still lead the league in overall point shares. The knocks on him are overblown, he doesn't rely on the powerplay with him sitting second in even strength points with 43, he just consistently finds ways to take advantage with the extra ice the man advantage provides. McDavid is also far from a defensive liability as he has positive puck possession numbers and is 6th in the league with 35 takeaways so far this season. McDavid actually has a shot at 50 goals in 50 games sitting on 32 though 37 games and is on pace to pass the 150 point mark on the season; what more could we ask of the best player in the game?
Honourable mentions
  • Linus Ullmark (Boston Bruins)
  • Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)
  • Tage Thompson (Buffalo Sabres)
Sports Tree Profile

By: Chase Howard


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