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Connor McDavid Becomes Heavier Art Ross Favorite Despite Falling Further Behind Points Leaders

Oilers Connor McDavid
Oilers Connor McDavid has 35 points in 26 games during the 2018-19 NHL season. But he trails Mikko Rantanen by ten points. (Photo by Tommy LaPorte/Icon Sportswire)
  • Connor McDavid sits sixth in NHL scoring, 10 points off the lead
  • McDavid has won the last two Art Ross Trophies as NHL scoring champion
  • McDavid still listed as the favorite to win the Art Ross

Two-time defending Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid is currently looking up at five other players who are ahead of him in the NHL scoring race.

Big deal.

A year ago on this date, McDavid sat eighth in NHL scoring, and when all was said and done, he was the champ again, by a six-point margin over Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who led all NHL scorers and McDavid by six points on Dec. 4, 2017, finished third, eight points in arrears to McDavid.

No wonder online sportsbooks aren’t backing current NHL leader Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche, or anyone else not named McDavid, as the favorite to be NHL scoring champ.

Odds to Win NHL’s 2019 Art Ross Trophy

Player Points Odds
Connor McDavid 35 +170
Nathan MacKinnon 43 +500
Mikko Rantanen 45 +550
Nikita Kucherov 42 +1000
Mitch Marner 38 +1400
Evgeni Malkin 30 +1600
Patrick Kane 30 +2200
David Pastrnak 30 +2500
Brayden Point 37 +2500
Blake Wheeler 34 +2500

*Follow link in table to see complete list.

While he didn’t need to make up as much ground in terms of points last season, McDavid was required to hunt down a greater number of players.

McDavid Is A Second Half Guy

Last season, McDavid absolutely tore it up after the NHL All-Star break.

Up to that game, he’d accumulated 54 points in 49 games. In the 33 post All-Star break contests, McDavid also collected 54 points.

His best month of the season was March, when his posted 13-15-28 totals in just 16 games, an average of 1.75 points per game. McDavid’s second-best month was February, when he totaled 13-8-21 digits in 14 games, or 1.5 points per game.

McDavid led the NHL last season, figuring in an astonishing 40.5% of all of Edmonton’s goals.

McDavid Has Staying Power

Of the players who were situated among the NHL’s top 10 scoring leaders a year ago, just five still occupied one of those 10 positions at season’s end, and three of those five had dropped in the rankings.

Only McDavid (eighth to first) and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings (ninth to tie for seventh) improved their standing.

Kucherov (first to third), Phil Kessel of the Pittsburgh Penguins (sixth to tie for seventh) and Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets (fourth to ninth) all plummeted, while Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames, Steven Stamkos of the Lightning, Mark Schiefele of the Jets, and Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues vanished completely from the leaderboard.

Six of the NHL’s current top 10 scorers have finished in the top 10  before but other than McDavid, the only other one who won a title was Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, and that was in 2007-08.

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