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Nathan MacKinnon named finalist for Hart Trophy

His competition? Anze Kopitar and Taylor Hall

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After the Colorado Avalanche were eliminated in the postseason by the Nashville Predators, Preds blue liner PK Subban gave his ringing endorsement to Nathan MacKinnon for the Hart Trophy as the league’s regular season MVP.

Calling him the ‘best player’ he’d faced, Subban had high words of praise for the 22-year-old Halifax native.

Now, the league’s voting panel for the Hart Trophy - made up of the 2017-18 Pro Hockey Writer’s Association - has given their agreement with Subban, confirming that he’s at least a top-three so far.

It was announced on Friday evening that MacKinnon is one of three finalists for the Hart, joining LA Kings center Anze Kopitar and New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall. Hall has also been nominated with MacKinnon for the Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player in the league.

The award winner will be announced this June in Las Vegas.

MacKinnon posted 39 goals and 97 points during the regular season, falling just short of the 100-point margin (but doing so in only 74 games due to injury). He was fifth in scoring league-wide despite finishing with eight games short of a full season, and his 1.31 points per game was second to only Connor McDavid.

The first overall pick from 2013 already has a Calder Trophy under his belt, but this could be just the next step in a long, illustrious, award-filled career ahead of him.

These three players have all had great seasons, and the award nominations reflect that. Hall is up for the Lindsay and Hart, Kopitar is up for the Selke and Hart. There’s a possibility All three could go home on June 20 with hardware.