By Ben Warwick

DENVER (CBS4) – While the Avalanche try to keep their tight playoff series against Vegas alive, star center Nathan MacKinnon is getting some individual recognition. On Thursday, MacKinnon was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, given to the league MVP.

Nathan MacKinnon at STAPLES Center on January 19, 2021.

(credit: Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

MacKinnon ranked fourth in the NHL this season with a career-high 1.35 points per game. He was a key cog in propelling the Avalanche to the Presidents’ Trophy this season. It’s the third time the team has topped the league in points. They also won the trophy in the 1996-1997 and 2000-2001 seasons.

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MacKinnon was in the Top 10 of several key statistical categories: shots on goal (3rd), power-play points (3rd), assists (5th), points (8th), and power-play assists (10th).

(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old also recorded a career-best 15-game point streak. That ranks as the longest by a member of the Avalanche since Paul Stastny had a 20-game point streak in 2006-2007.

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If he wins, MacKinnon would become the third Avalanche player to hoist the Hart Trophy. Joe Sakic won in 2000-2001 and Peter Forsberg won in 2002-2003.

Ben Warwick