Hart Memorial Trophy: McDavid Leading Award Race Yet Again, Odds Say

Every NHL season, the Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the league’s most valuable player. A lot of things go into deciding the award, ranging from the player’s individual performance to how he impacted his team’s overall success.

While there is still a lot of time before the NHL hands out its awards, BetOnline has odds on who’s likely to take home some hardware. Much to nobody’s surprise, Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid is leading the Hart Trophy candidate at +125 odds.

McDavid is no stranger to the award, having already won it twice (2016-17 and 2020-21) in his fairly short career. If he’s victorious against his season, he’ll become the first back-to-back winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy since Alexander Ovechkin did it during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. That’s some pretty good company to be a part of.

McDavid is tied with teammate Leon Draisaitl (more on him later) for the league lead with 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 26 games. That translates to 1.73 points per game, which puts him on pace for 142 points this season. To put things in perspective, that’s a total that’s only been reached 23 times in NHL history, with no player having put up that many points since Mario Lemieux had 161 in the 1995-96 campaign.

The Oilers are 16-10-0, sitting third in the Pacific Division with 32 points, so it’s clear that McDavid has, once again, positively impacted his team. With no signs of his play slowing down, expect him to remain in the Hart Memorial Trophy conversation until the season is over.

2021-22 Hart Memorial Trophy Odds

Odds via BetOnline as of Tuesday, December 14

  • Connor McDavid (+125)
  • Leon Draisaitl (+350)
  • Alex Ovechkin (+700)
  • Auston Matthews (+1800)
  • Artemi Panarin (+2500)
  • Brad Marchand (+2500
  • Nathan MacKinnon (+2800)
  • Mikko Rantanen (+2800)
  • David Pastrnak (+3300)
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (+3300)
  • Anze Kopitar (+3300)
  • Adam Fox (+3300)
  • Victor Hedman (+3300)
  • Aaron Ekblad (+3300)
  • Johnny Gaudreau (+3300)

The complete odds list is available at BetOnline.ag.

Leon Draisaitl Hart Odds

The Oilers are one of the rare teams that have two Hart Memorial Trophy contenders on their roster. In addition to McDavid, Leon Draisaitl has the second-best odds (+350) to win the award this year.

While he shares the league lead in points with his teammate, Draisaitl is pacing the NHL with 23 goals as of Dec. 14. He’s proven to be one of the most dangerous goal-scoring threats out there, having recorded 147 goals in 235 games over his last four seasons. Nevertheless, Draisaitl’s current production race puts him on pace to finish the year with 72 goals, which is something that hasn’t been done since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny each had 76 in the 1992-93 NHL season.

At the end of the day, it’s highly possible that the Hart Memorial Trophy race will come down to McDavid and Draisaitl. Both players are equally as valuable to the Oilers and are the reason why their team has seen the success that it has. As long as one of them wins this trophy, Edmonton fans will be content with the result.

Hart Memorial Trophy Odds Tracker: Alexander Ovechkin

Even though a lot of attention is on the Oilers duo, it’s important not to forget that Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin (+700) is also in the Hart Memorial Trophy race.

The 36-year-old is currently in his 17th NHL season and appears to be rejuvenated as he chases Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. Ovechkin already has 20 goals on the year — putting him second league-wide — and his 44 points also only trail McDavid and Draisaitl. He’s already accomplished a handful of accolades this season, including moving into fourth on the all-time goals list (750).

While it’s hard to imagine him staying on pace with McDavid and Draisaitl throughout the year, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ovechkin finished the year with 60-plus goals and 100-plus points. That type of performance on its own at this stage of his career could be enough to convince Hart Memorial Trophy voters. After all, Ovechkin only has a handful of years left in the league while the Oilers pairing has most of their careers ahead of them.

If Ovechkin is successful this season, it would be his fourth time winning Hart Trophy honors and his first season 2012-13. He’d also become just the fourth player in NHL history to win it four times, joining the exclusive club of Gretzky (9), Gordie Howe (6) and Eddie Shore (4).

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Devon Platana

After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.