The race for the NHL Hart Trophy, the most valuable player in the league, will be THE race to watch heading into the upcoming season. The odds for this prestigious trophy have come out and there are superstars up and down the list, including three former winners of the award. The 2022-23 season is just under a month away and it’s one of the most anticipated in recent memory.
As the NHL equivalent to a Most Valuable Player award, the Hart Memorial Trophy is the league’s most coveted award. Often times it coincides with the league’s top goal-scorer or point producer, but sometimes a surprise winner emerges.With…https://t.co/bJjZVe2VhR
— Shop PRO Hockey (@ShopProHockey) September 23, 2022
Odds to Win the 2022-23 NHL Hart Trophy
Connor McDavid (+250)
Like last year and years before that, Connor McDavid comes into this season as the favorite to win the NHL Hart Trophy. He is a two-time winner of the award (2017, 2021) and led the league in scoring three times (2017, 2018, 2021, 2022), including the last two years. McDavid has also had the honors of being on the 1st NHL All-Rookie Team in 2016 and the 1st NHL All-Star Team four times, including being on the 2nd NHL All-Star Team last year.
McDavid is coming off an impressive 123-point season, with 44 goals and 79 assists, his fifth 100-point season of his career. He also tallied 33 points in 16 playoff games last season and led the Edmonton Oilers to the Western Conference Finals. The human highlight reel is just on another planet as the best player in the league at the age of only 25 and will be the favorite to win the NHL Hart Trophy for seasons to come.
Auston Matthews (+400)
With 106 points last season, including an amazing 60 goals, Auston Matthews won the NHL Hart Trophy. That was the first time a player has hit the 60-goal plateau since 2011-12. He won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year in 2017 and led the league in goals twice. Matthews is a very talented individual who has sparked discussion on if he’s truly the best in the league.
Matthews is also really good on the defensive end, a rare combination for an offensive machine. He has the second-best odds to win the NHL Hart Trophy as he is projected to have yet another explosive season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. At the rate he’s going at just 24 years old, Matthews has the potential to win multiple awards and break records along the way.
Leon Draisaitl (+800)
Two of the top three odds to win the NHL Hart Trophy belong to an Edmonton Oiler. McDavid is in first but then his lethal teammate Leon Draisaitl comes in at third on this list. With all the focus on his teammate, you can’t forget what Draisaitl has done in this league. He’s scored 50 or more goals twice, including an impressive 55 goals last season. He even won the NHL Hart Trophy in 2020, when he tallied 43 goals and 67 assists and led the league in points with 110, the same point total as he had last season.
With McDavid being just 25 years old and Draisaitl being 26 years old, the Oilers should have the best duo for years to come. The Oilers were four wins away from the Stanley Cup Final last year thanks to these two and they hope to improve upon that and finally win a Stanley Cup to even further validate their greatness.
Nathan MacKinnon (+1000)
If Nathan MacKinnon has the fourth-best odds coming into the season, that tells you the talent displayed on this list. He’s been so close to winning the NHL Hart Trophy not once, not twice, but three times. MacKinnon finished with 88 points last season on 32 goals and 56 assists in 65 games. He was well on track for a 100-point season if he was healthy the whole year. The 26-year-old star is flawless with his puck handling and speed to get up and down the ice.
All this greatness and we haven’t even gotten to how MacKinnon led the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup since 2001. In 20 playoff games, he gathered 24 points with 13 goals and 11 assists. Even though his teammate Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of playoffs), there would’ve been no argument if MacKinnon won. The five-time All-Star just signed an 8-year, $100.8M ($12.6M AAV) contract extension starting in the 2023-24 season. This makes him the highest-paid player in the salary cap era, overtaking McDavid. He will be a force for years to come and should someday win the NHL Hart Trophy.
Kirill Kaprizov (+1200)
There’s a reason people call him Kirill “the Thrill” Kaprizov. His first two years in the league showed us that he is going to be an absolute stud. In his first season in 2020-21, he won the Calder Trophy by scoring 27 goals with 51 points in 55 games. Kaprizov followed up his impressive performance from his rookie year with an even better performance last season. He scored 47 goals and had 61 assists for 108 points, finishing seventh in the NHL Hart Trophy race.
That’s just a preview of what’s to come from the young superstar as he enters his third year on a very good Minnesota Wild team. Kaprizov signed a five-year, $45M ($9M AAV) contract extension in the off-season of 2021 and he’s showing that he is worth every bit of it. The Wild got eliminated from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the St. Louis Blues in six games but that didn’t stop “the Thrill” from going off as he scored seven goals in six games. His potential is through the roof and will be in the NHL Hart Trophy conversation for years to come.
Next Best Odds
Cale Makar (+1500)
Nikita Kucherov (+2000)
Mikko Rantanen (+2200)
Igor Shesterkin (+2200)
Jonathan Huberdeau (+2500)
Aleksander Barkov (+2500)