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Former Kelowna Rocket Leon Draisaitl named NHL’s best

Draisaitl topped the NHL’s scoring charts with 110 points
Leon Draisaitl skates against the Portland Winterhawks on May 1, 2015, at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Former Kelowna Rocket Leon Draisaitl has been named the NHL’s top player for the league’s 2019/20 season.

The now-Edmonton Oiler received both the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award on Monday, Sept. 21, as the league handed out its remaining awards virtually.

Draisaitl topped the NHL’s scoring charts this year with 110 points (43 G, 67 A). That’s 13 more points than his second-place teammate Connor McDavid.

The Ted Lindsay Award, formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, is awarded “to the most outstanding player in the NHL” as voted by NHLPA members.

The other finalists were Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin from the New York Rangers.

The Hart Trophy is awarded to the NHL’s most valuable players as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

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MacKinnon and Panarin were also the other two finalists for the Hart.

Draisaitl was with the Rockets for a short, but memorable time during the 2014-15 season, notching 53 points (19 G, 32 A) in only 32 regular-season games.

From there, Draisaitl led the Rockets to an Ed Chynoweth Cup win, sweeping the Brandon Wheat Kings in four games. Draisaitl notched 28 points (10 G, 18 A) in 19 playoff contests during that run.

The Rockets eventually fell in overtime to the Oshawa Generals in the Memorial Cup championship, but Draisaitl’s strong performance — registering seven points (4 G, 3 A) in five games — earned him the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the tournament’s MVP.

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