Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla heads a list of three finalists for the Hart Trophy awarded to the NHL’s most valuable player, it was announced yesterday.

Washington Capitals sniper Alexander Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin are the two other finalists for the NHL’s most coveted individual honour.

Iginla, a Hart finalist for the third time after finishing runner-up in 2002 and 2004, had a career high 98 points this season, netting 50 goals for the second time.

Ovechkin, who has already claimed the Art Ross trophy as the NHL scoring champion, finishing the season with 112 points, and the Maurice Rocket Richard trophy as the league’s top goal scorer with 65, is the strong favourite to add a first Hart trophy to his collection.

Malkin finished second in the league scoring race behind fellow Russian Ovechkin with 106 points.

The winner will be announced at the NHL awards on June 12.

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