NHL pre-season is underway and you know what that means? Hockey is back! The regular season is nearly upon us and it’s an exciting time of year. As the season closes in, it’s time to look at which player will win certain awards like the Vezina Trophy, the Norris Trophy, or what team will win the Stanley cup. In this case, it’s time to look at who will win the Hart Trophy for the MVP of the league. There are some consistent names on this list every year. Will last year’s winner Nikita Kucherov be in the top five? Let’s take a look at the five best odds to win the Hart Trophy.
Five Best Odds To Win The Hart Trophy
Auston Matthews (+1200)
Auston Matthews is one of the best young stars in this game and he’s the future of hockey. In his three seasons in the league, his points per game have increased and have averaged more than 0.5 goals per game. Last season, he played in 68 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In those games, he scored 37 goals and had 36 assists. He is the key to the Maple Leafs’ success but he has to stay healthy. In the past two seasons, he has missed a combined 34 games. If he can stay healthy, these numbers will increase drastically and that will get you in the Hart Trophy conversation.
Alex Ovechkin (+1000)
Well, isn’t this a surprise? Alex Ovechkin is yet again one of the favorites to win the Hart Trophy and why wouldn’t he be? He’s a three-time winner and won it back-to-back in 2008 and 2009 with the Washington Capitals. Every year, he has been in the discussion. He has a great wrist shot and a lethal one-timer than few can stop. Ovechkin played 81 games last season and he had a whopping 51 goals with 38 assists. He had 18 power-play goals which are his specialty and one of the most dangerous players on the power play in the history of the NHL. Ovi finally got that chip off of his shoulder in 2018 when he won the Stanley Cup. Winning another Hart Trophy sure wouldn’t hurt one bit.
Sidney Crosby (+700)
This is a very familiar name throughout hockey and in the MVP conversation. Sidney Crosby has been one of the best players if not the best player in the league ever since he has come into the league in the 2005-06 season. He is still talked about as one of the best in hockey today. He has won three Stanley Cups and won it back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His team is in the conversation every year as is Crosby in the MVP discussion. Last season, he reached the 100 point mark yet again as he scored 35 goals and had 65 assists with a +/- of +18. He has won two Hart trophies in his career and another one would tie Ovechkin for the most by an active player. With his resume, he certainly doesn’t need it but it would be another trophy in his list of accolades.
Nikita Kucherov (+550)
Nikita Kucherov is one of the best players in the NHL. He was a huge part of the Tampa Bay Lightning and their success in the regular season. He won the Hart Trophy last season and is a top two favorite to win it again this season. Kucherov amazingly has as many points as his own team which was 128. In all 82 games, he had 41 goals and an amazing 87 assists. It will be very hard to repeat the season he has had but anything is possible. If he can even get close to what he did last season, you will be looking at the two-time Hart Trophy winner.
Connor McDavid (+350)
How can Connor McDavid not be number one? He is probably the best player in the league at the young age of 22 and will be for a long time to come. McDavid was one of the runner ups last year for the trophy with a 116 point season. He had 41 goals and 75 assists in 78 games. If he had played all 82 games, he would be close to Kucherov’s point total or even overtake it and maybe he would’ve been Hart Trophy winner. McDavid had been doing this on a less talented team than most with the Edmonton Oilers and is putting up historic numbers. He will be in the MVP discussion for years to come and might even have had more than three Hart trophies before the end of his career. He is the clear cut favorite to win his second trophy.
Players With The Next Best Odds
Nathan MacKinnon (+1200)
Taylor Hall (+1400)
John Tavares, Patrick Kane (+2000)
David Pastrnak, Evgeny Kuznetzov (+2500)
Steven Stamkos, Mitch Marner, Steven Stamkos (+2500)
Brayden Point, Mark Scheifele (+2800)
There are some pretty cool trends to see while you look at the Hart Trophy candidates. Since 1998-99, 14 of the 18 winners have been a center or a winger who has led the NHL in goals or points. Also, nine of the last thirteen Hart Trophy winners in the post-lockout era have played in the Eastern Conference. One more trend that is note worthy is that over the last 11 years, the median age of trophy winners is 28 years. If you just go by the trends, you have a pretty good idea of who might win it. All three finalists of the Hart trophy last year are in the top three this season. The league is filled with young and exciting players and there is no doubt that the 2019-20 season will be filled with excitement.
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