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Kucherov Becomes Odds-On Favorite for Art Ross With 80 Points in 52 Games

Tampa Bay Lightning Right Wing Nikita Kucherov
Tampa Bay Lightning Right Wing Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL in points this season. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
  • Nikita Kucherov is tops in the NHL with 80 points.
  • Connor McDavid is close behind, tied with Patrick Kane for 76 points.
  • Kane won the Art Ross Trophy in 2016.

With the NHL All-Star Game behind us and the league heading into its stretch drive, the scoring race is heating up. Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov,  Chicago’s Patrick Kane, and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid are the current NHL Leaders in points. 

Odds to Win NHL’s 2019 Art Ross Trophy

Player Odds to Win 2019 Art Ross Trophy at Bovada (02/06/19)
Nikita Kucherov -120
Connor McDavid +225
Patrick Kane +300
Johnny Gaudreau +450
Mikko Rantanen +800
Nathan McKinnon +1200
Blake Wheeler +3300
Brayden Point +3300
David Pasternak +3300
Mitchell Marner +3300

Kucherov Has Been Outstanding, but McDavid Looms Large

Kucherov has the most assists and the most points overall with 80 while Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is the NHL’s goal leader and should be a lock to win the Rocket Richard Trophy this season. Patrick Kane and Connor McDavid have 76 points each. 

The last time we checked in on December 4th, McDavid was the favorite at +170 and you could have Kucherov for +1000. Is there value in betting Kucherov knowing the return isn’t going to be much? Who’s the best bet here?

McDavid was the favorite despite the fact that he had fallen behind the leaders then. McDavid though was in a dogfight with Kucherov last year and he ended up winning the Art Ross race with 108 points. Kucherov finished third with 100 while the Philadelphia Flyer’s Claude Giroux was second in 2017-18 with 102.

McDavid is Still the Best Bet

The best bet has to lie with McDavid. He has won the past two years and he seems poised to have another great end to the season. Former Oiler Wayne Gretzky won the Art Ross 10 times during his playing career with seven of those being with the Oilers and three with the Los Angeles Kings.

McDavid hasn’t quite reached the notoriety of Gretzky, but it’s still early in his career. If the Oilers can get their act together and put a great team behind him, there is no limit to what he can accomplish.

Kane Deserves Consideration

Patrick Kane also deserves strong consideration considering how he is close in the race. At 30 years of age Kane shows no signs of slowing down, and while the Blackhawks have fallen out of the elite group of teams in the Western Conference Kane gives them a chance to win every night.

At 30 years of age Patrick Kane shows no signs of slowing down.

Kane and McDavid faced off last night in Edmonton with Chicago winning the game 6-2. Kane had two points and McDavid did as well. 

Kucherov had one assist in a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Kucherov himself was here last season so we shouldn’t throw him out completely. He did finish third behind Giroux and there is something to be said that he is consistently putting up points. 

Kucherov Should Enjoy Postseason Glory

Kucherov is also part of a great Lightning team that is a good bet to win the Stanley Cup this season. The Art Ross doesn’t include postseason points though, and that’s too bad. Kucherov is more likely to suit up in the postseason, barring a major injury,  as McDavid or Kane whose teams are both well down in the Western Conference.

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