It was a different year in Toronto, with a slew of trade rumours swirling around the league, and many fans and players wondered whether they could be looking at the first big shift in franchise history.
The Leafs made the move to a new arena in 2017-18, but many thought the move would be a one-time thing, and not last season’s blockbuster trade that saw James van Riemsdyk and Nikita Soshnikov swapped for Josh Leivo and Matt Hunwick.
However, the team has been a major beneficiary of that move.
They’ve won seven straight and are on pace to break the NHL’s all-time record for points in a season.
And with that, we thought we’d take a look at the top five players of the year.
Connor McDavid (Oilers): This is the biggest question mark in this list, but the Oilers captain was a huge factor in the team’s success.
He finished the year with 29 goals and 47 points in 59 games, and was one of the best players on the team in terms of the way he controlled the game.
After McDavid was traded to the Oilers, some fans felt the Oilers would lose some of their scoring punch.
However, they have since found a way to get back to the top of the league.
McDavid leads the league in points per game at 2.47, and has been named a Vezina finalist after leading the Oilers to a Stanley Cup championship.
Daniel Sedin (Red Wings): Daniel Sedins scoring was a major part of the success the Red Wings had in the first half of the season, but he also helped make the Red Wing one of those teams that needed a superstar in the form of an elite playmaker to get them to the next level.
Daniel Sedin has become a top scorer in the NHL after being traded to Detroit, and he continues to produce at an elite level.
He leads the Redwings in points, assists, and points per 60 minutes, and ranks second in the league with 10 power play goals.
Jakub Voracek (Vancouver Canucks): It took a while for the Canucks to make the playoffs in 2017, but that’s not to say they weren’t able to do so.
After drafting Auston Matthews in the second round of the 2017 NHL draft, the Canucks have turned that talent into the team that has made it to the conference final in each of the past three years.
Voracek is one of five players in the entire NHL to record 100 points, 80 goals, 80 assists, 120 points, and 90 power-play goals, and leads the team with a plus-25 rating.
Nikita Kucherov (Vegas Golden Knights): It was difficult to find a player more deserving of a Vezy award than Kuc.
He won the Norris Trophy, the most prestigious trophy in the League, as well as being the first Russian to win the Norris since Evgeni Malkin in 2009.
Kucherovs points per goal are second in NHL history, and his points per-game are second only to Connor McLeod.
He has three more goals than McLeod and has nine more power-possession points than Crosby.
Tyler Bozak (Colorado Avalanche): The Avalanche made it back to Stanley Cup Playoff contention after a seven-game losing streak.
But that didn’t mean they had to stop producing.
Tyler has seven points in his past five games, helping Colorado to a 6-3-0 record.
He had a goal and an assist in his team’s win over the Blues, and also led the team to a win over Boston in overtime.
Alex Galchenyuk (Columbus Blue Jackets): Galchenys goal-scoring was a big part of his success this year.
He finished the season with 34 goals and 51 points in 62 games, which ranks him third in the Atlantic Division behind only Sidney Crosby and Sidney Crosby.
He also finished with a career-high six power-plays goals, which is the third-most on the Blue Jackets.
Alex Tanguay (Vezin) The top pick in the 2015 NHL draft has played just under a full season since being drafted, but it hasn’t been a bad year.
Tanguary has scored 24 goals and 42 points in 82 games, ranking him fourth in the AHL in points and fourth in goals.
He’s also leading the team on the power play with four power-five assists.
David Pastrnak (Ottawa Senators): The Ottawa Senators were among the hottest teams in the Western Conference, and David Pastnarak was a key part of that success.
He led the Senators with 41 points in 56 games, leading the club to the playoffs.
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado