NHL award picks: Connor McDavid runs away with MVP, but others are up for grabs

The 2021 NHL season is nearly over, and voting on the awards is about to begin.

In a 56-game season with a condensed schedule, nothing has been normal. Usually, very team would play every other team at least twice, giving us a big sample size and ample opportunity to see how players perform against all manner of competition. This year, teams played strictly within their division and there were plenty of rescheduled games and players having to sit out because of coronavirus protocols. 

Despite the unusual season, awards will still be handed out as many players have stood out for their spectacular play.

USA TODAY Sports' NHL staffers are here to make their picks for the top regular-season awards: 

Hart Trophy (MVP to his team) 

Jimmy Hascup: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Mike Brehm: McDavid

Jace Evans: McDavid

McDavid ran away with the scoring race by recording points at a clip we haven't seen since the heyday of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr on the mid-1990s Penguins. With over 100 points in this abbreviated 56-game season, McDavid made clear he's the best player in the world and should easily capture his second Hart Trophy. 

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