Connor McDavid already had two trophies to take home.
Then he added another. And another.
The sublimely skilled, lightning-fast captain of the Edmonton Oilers dominated the NHL regular season from start to finish.
He did the same at Monday’s awards ceremony.
McDavid won his third Hart Trophy as NHL MVP thanks to a 153-point campaign — the most in the NHL since Mario Lemieux’s 161 in 1995-96.
The 26-year-old started the night by taking home his fourth Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player as voted by his peers.
Desperate for team success in the playoffs as the leader of a roster that made the Western Conference final in 2021-22 and the second round this spring, McDavid was still able to reflect on his individual accolades.
“It’s not lost on me what these trophies mean in the grand scheme of our game,” he said. “It’s not the motivating factor, but it’s special, still. I know that the five-year-old me would be pissed if I was taking it for granted.
“I’m not. It’s special.”
McDavid had already secured his fifth Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer — 25 points clear of teammate Leon Draisaitl’s second-place showing — along with his first Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy on the heels of a league-best 64-goal season.
The top pick at the 2015 draft, who also led the league in assists with 89, previously won the Hart in 2017 and 2021, and the Ted Lindsay in 2017, 2018 and 2021.
The Hart is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, while the Ted Lindsay is chosen by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
“I really feel that it is the most prestigious award that’s given out here in terms of the hockey awards,” McDavid said of the Ted Lindsay. “To have your peers recognize you … they’re the ones that you go to battle with each and every night.
“For them to single you out, it’s really, really special.”
San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson took home his third Norris Trophy, and first since 2015, as the league’s top blueliner, while Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark secured Vezina Trophy honours for the first time as the best netminder.
“It means a lot,” Karlsson said of his award that tied a bow on an unlikely comeback season following a string of injuries.
“I think I can grasp everything around it and appreciate it a little bit differently than when I was (younger).”
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron won a sixth Selke Trophy, and second in as many years, as the best defensive forward.
Seattle Kraken centre Matty Beniers, the franchise’s first-ever draft pick, got the Calder Trophy nod as rookie of the year.
Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar won the Lady Byng — which goes to the player who best combines sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability — for the second time.
Boston head coach Jim Montgomery was honoured with the Jack Adams Award after guiding the Bruins to the best regular-season in NHL history before losing in the first round of the playoffs.
“The actual award is, to me, a reflection of the historically great season that we had,” said Montgomery, who climbed the coaching mountain after issues with alcohol forced him out of the NHL in 2019.
“Players win games, coaches give them an opportunity.”
Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund won the King Clancy Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities along with work in the community.
Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication. Letang suffered a stroke for the second time in his career and mourned the death of his father within a span of four weeks this season.
“Emotionally, it was really hard,” Letang said. “Sometimes, the mind wasn’t there and you don’t want to come to the rink and show those emotions because your teammates are there, they have a job to do.”
When the Penguins all attended his dad’s funeral in Montreal, that flipped a switch to get back out there.
“Triggered something in me,” Letang recalled. “My wife said, ‘You should go back to the rink … and try to forget about what happened in the last few months and try to get back on track.’”
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos won the Mark Messier Leadership Award.
Much like McDavid, the veteran forward knows a thing or two about individual success coming before group achievements.
He won the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy twice early in his career, but waited a long time to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Now he has two rings.
“I’ve had chats with him before,” Stamkos said of McDavid. “Listen, he’s gonna win a Stanley Cup. It’s just a matter of time. He has that desire and that drive.”
McDavid has already turned his attention to next season — and chasing that title.
“I’m sure there’s gonna be lots of talking about that from now until that happens,” he said.
“It’s a long ways away.”