Hall, 26, was sixth in the NHL in scoring with 93 points (39 goals, 54 points) in his second season with the Devils, who have had only one previous MVP finalist -- goalie Martin Brodeur -- but never a winner.
Kopitar, a first-time nominee, set career highs in goals (35), assists (57) and points (92) while finishing tied for seventh in the league in scoring. Kopitar, 30, is also a finalist for this season's Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward.
Wayne Gretzky (1989) is the the only King to have won the Hart Trophy.
MacKinnon's 97-point season helped lead the Avalanche to a 47-point improvement in the standings, the fourth-highest year-to-year gain in NHL history.
The winner, based on voting by the Pro Hockey Writers Association, will be announced June 20 at the NHL Awards event in Las Vegas.