The Hart Trophy is given to the most valuable player (MVP) during the regular season, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The odds to win the award are out and they suggest that there will be a back-to-back winner for the first time in over a decade. With just nine days from the start of the 2023-24 NHL campaign, there’s many players to keep an eye on in the race to win the Hart Trophy as we head toward the season.
Odds to Win the 2023-24 Hart Trophy
Connor McDavid (+110)
It’s no surprise whatsoever that Connor McDavid is the Hart Trophy favorite yet again after his historic season in 2022-23. He won his third MVP award after putting up 64 goals and 89 assists for a whopping 153 points. McDavid has been known as the best player in hockey basically ever since he entered the league and he’s somehow only getting better at just 26 years old. With the exception of his rookie season and the Covid stoppage in 2019-20, McDavid has posted a 100-point season each year. If he wins the Hart Trophy this season, he’d be the first player to win the award back-to-back since Alexander Ovechkin in 2008 and 2009.
Auston Matthews (+1000)
There’s a big dip in the odds from number one to number two but it’s definitely not because of Auston Matthews. He is looking for his second Hart Trophy after winning it in 2022 by scoring 60 goals and tallying 106 points. Last season, Matthews scored 40 goals and had 45 assists for 85 points. It’s expected that the 26 year old star gets back to his 2022 form after signing a four-year, $53M contract extension with an average annual value of $13.25M. In 2020-2021, Matthews was in a close race with McDavid for the Hart Trophy and it looks like it could be that way again, with the Toronto Maple Leafs forward hoping to come out on top this time around.
Nathan MacKinnon (+1100)
It’s only a matter of time before Nathan MacKinnon wins his first Hart Trophy. He’s finished top five in voting four times, including a couple of second place finishes. MacKinnon tallied his first 100-point season in 2022-23, putting up 111 points in 71 games. Before the start of last season, the centerman signed a eight-year contract worth $100.8M with an average annual value of $12.6M. The Colorado Avalanche are favorites to win the Stanley Cup and the generational talent of MacKinnon is a huge reason why.
David Pastrnak (+1200)
Also tallying his first 100-point season in 2022-23 was David Pastrnak. By scoring 61 goals and having 52 points for 113 points in all 82 games last season, the Boston Bruins forward finished as the runner up for the Hart Trophy. He was a big reason why his team set the record for most wins in the regular season with 65. The Bruins were stacked with talent but he still ended up placing second in voting. Coming into this season, a few key peices from last season have moved on, including his linemate Patrice Bergeron. If Pastrnak can put up these numbers with a team that lost as much talent, he has a great shot to win the Hart Trophy.
Matthew Tkachuk (+1200)
Tied with Pastrnak in Hart Trophy odds is Matthew Tkachuk, who put up his second consecutive 100-point season and finished third in voting in 2022-23. He also scored 40+ goals in those two years. Tkachuk is a rare breed of skill, strength, and leadership that can also act as an enforcer to get into the opponent’s head and throw his body around. This was instrumental in getting the eight-seeded Florida Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final, where unfortunately he was injured and couldn’t finish the series. He had 24 points in 20 games in the playoffs and had a few clutch moments throughout. Tkachuk is a special talent and will be in the Hart Trophy discussion for year to come.
Next Best Odds:
Cale Makar (+2000)
Jack Hughes (+2100)
Kirill Kaprizov (+2100)
Nikita Kucherov (+2100)
Tage Thompson (+4000)
Jason Robinson (+4000)
Connor Bedard (+4000)
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