The Hart Trophy is awarded annually to the MVP of the regular season. The Anaheim Ducks have had one winner in their history, Corey Perry took home the honor in 2010-2011 along with the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for most goals in the regular season. And after 11 long years there is a case to be made that the Ducks will add a second Hart trophy to the case in Anaheim by seasons end.
“The Hart Memorial Trophy is an annual award given “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in all NHL cities at the end of the regular season.”
The above blurb is word for word cited from the NHL official website. The Hart Memorial trophy is awarded to the player “‘adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”. Not the player who is the most popular on Twitter, not the player who has the most Sports Center Top 10 plays to his name, not the player with the most sold jerseys. The player most important to his team. The player that is crucial to his team’s success and one of if not the main reason they get to the post-season. To this point without a doubt that player is Troy Terry. Newly minted NHL All-Star Troy Terry.
Terry who is currently in his 4th pro season (technically only his second as he split time between the NHL and AHL during the 18-19′ and 19-20′ season) would in his own words not say his transition to the NHL was smooth.
"“I haven’t gotten to this point as fast as I wanted to in my career. I don’t know if I’d ever had [more than] a point in the first 10 games of a season before. It had gotten to a place where people have said, maybe I’m not the player everyone thought I would be. I do feel I have a chip on my shoulder and things still to prove. It’s been a journey for me.”"
You can find the whole article Terry did with ESPN here. The article also reveals that Terry attributes his success of this season to conversations he had with former back-up Ducks goalie Ryan Miller. Miller pointed out that Terry at times would “try too hard and lose his creativity”. And when he allowed the game to come to him the results showed through. Whatever the case Terry has been on fire this season and is looking every much the player the Ducks front office and fans were expecting.
As of writing this Terry leads the Ducks in goals, points, power-play goals, game-winning goals, OT goals, and shooting percentage. And maybe most impressively, he accounts for just under 20% of the Ducks total goals for on the season. Terry is 6th in league in goals and only 5 goals shy of leading the league in goals. He is also top ten in power-play goals and game winning goals in the entire NHL.
Leading in all those categories is something to marvel and celebrate for the 24-year-old Terry. But the main crux of why Terry needs serious consideration is where would the Ducks be without him? Take away Terry’s goals and the Ducks would be bottom 10 in the league in goals scored. Take away his five game winners and where are the Ducks? Nowhere near a playoff spot. And that needs to be considered in the voting process. The current players ahead of Terry in goals are Alex Ovechkin, Leon Draisaitl, and Auston Matthews to name a few. Are these three not integral to the success of their teams? No of course they are however in the pre-season most all “experts” had the Capitals, Oilers, and Maple Leafs in the playoffs. Most “experts” did not have the Ducks.
So, if Anaheim finishes this season strong and clinches a post-season berth Terry will be a huge factor, if not the main factor why. And because of that there shouldn’t be any debate on who the most valuable player to their team is. It is #19 of the Anaheim Ducks.