(The Sports Xchange) - Forwards Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Hart Memorial Trophy.
The NHL made the announcement Saturday for the award given annually to the player who is most valuable to his team during the regular season.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
The winner will be announced on June 22 during the 2016 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Kane, 27, won the 2016 Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer, finishing the 2015-16 regular season with a career-high 106 points.
It marked the first time in NHL history that a player born in the United States led the league in scoring. The Buffalo native recorded career highs in goals (46) and assists (60) while skating in all 82 games of his ninth NHL season.
Crosby, 28, finished third in the NHL with 85 points (36 goals, 49 assists) in 80 games, including a league-best 58 points (27 goals, 31 assists) during the calendar year in 44 games played to guide the Penguins to their 10th consecutive postseason berth.
He picked up at least one point in 20 of his final 21 outings of the season. Crosby is a Hart Trophy finalist for the fifth time, winning the award in 2006-07 and 2013-14.
Benn, 26, ranked second in the NHL with 89 points and third with 41 goals — both career highs — in 82 games to lift the Stars to their first division title since 2005-06 as well as their first conference crown since 2002-03.
He became the first Dallas player to reach the 40-goal milestone since 1993-94. Benn, who in 2014-15 became the first player in franchise history to win the Art Ross Trophy, is the club’s first-ever finalist for the Hart Trophy.
Editing by Steve Keating in Toronto