- Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov are the clear Hart Trophy favorites.
- Kucherov won the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s mid-season MVP ballot.
- Who is the better bet to win the Hart Trophy?
Nikita Kucherov is the best player on the NHL’s best team. He leads the league in points, assists and points per game and is the odds-on favorite to win the Art Ross Trophy.
80 points for @86Kucherov in just 52 games.
— NHL (@NHL) February 3, 2019
But despite being the catalyst on the league’s most dominant team, online sportsbooks haven’t assigned Kucherov the shortest Hart Trophy odds. That honor belongs the 2017 award winner, Connor McDavid.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) February 2, 2019
2019 Hart Trophy Odds
|Player||Team||Odds to Win 2019 Hart Trophy at BetOnline (02/05/19)|
McDavid, who was only 20 when he won his first Hart Trophy, is trying to become just the 13th player in NHL history to win the prestigious award multiple times.
McDavid and Kucherov By the Numbers
Both McDavid and Kucherov are projected to eclipse 120 points this season, something that’s hasn’t been accomplished in over a decade. While McDavid is on pace to shatter his career high for goals in a season, Kucherov is proving to be the league’s premier playmaker.
Connor McDavid vs Nikita Kucherov Statistical Comparison
|1.50||Points per game||1.53|
|7||Game Winning Goals||3|
The Lightning star was recently voted the mid-season MVP by the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association and earlier this season, he became the fastest player in 23 years to reach the 50 assist plateau.
#GoBolts Nikita Kucherov is the first player with 50+ assists through 43 team games in a season since 1995-96 when 4 players had 50+ assists:
Mario Lemieux – 60
Ron Francis – 55
Jaromir Jagr – 51
Wayne Gretzky – 50 pic.twitter.com/wNqTBDZzHC
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 9, 2019
He leads the NHL with 21 power play helpers and has generated more first assists at even strength than any other player in the league.
The Oilers’ Record Could Hurt McDavid’s Chances
Only four times in NHL history has a player playing for a non playoff team won the Hart Trophy. The Oilers have lost six straight and 15 of their last 20, and sit fifth in the Pacific Division. If McDavid is unable to lead Edmonton back to the postseason, his chances of winning a second MVP in three seasons will be slim.
— Oilers fan in HK (@oilersfaninhk) January 29, 2019
Kucherov meanwhile, has a pair of Hart Trophy trends working in his favor. All but two winners post lockout have either led the league in goals, points or both, and nine of the past 13 MVP’s have played on an Eastern Conference team.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 28, 2018
Don’t Sleep on Johnny Hockey
While Kucherov’s price sticks out as a bargain among the top two favorites, if you’re looking for a long shot, consider Johnny Gaudreau at 10-1.
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) January 5, 2019
He’s tied for fourth in NHL scoring and has been a huge reason for the Flames’ surge to the top of Western Conference standings. He’s racked up 61 points in the Calgary’s 34 wins this season and is on pace to be the Flames’ first 100 point scorer since Theo Fleury in 1992-93.