The National Hockey League Most Valuable Player race is heating up as the second half of the season gets underway. The top ten favorites for the Hart Memorial Trophy are all very capable of coming out on top to win the award. Including a pair of teammates in Edmonton who have remained favorites all season long.
Connor McDavid is by far the best player in the National Hockey League. The Edmonton Oilers star makes up one half of a deadly one-two punch along with Leon Draisaitl who is also featured on this list as a potential Most Valuable Player award winning favorite as well. Halfway through the 2021-22 season Connor McDavid has already accounted for a league leading 71 points, 45 assists and 26 goals. His (+195) odds are not going to make you rich but he is a safe bet.
On Saturday, Connor McDavid became the first player to reach 70 points in a season for the fourth time in his career.
He is the 7th player in NHL history, and only active player, to be the first to 70 points in four different seasons. pic.twitter.com/CjEePtUBix
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2022
The Washington Capitals frontman and one of the greatest scorers of all time comes in second on the current favorites list. As Ovechkin is still on a mission to break Wayne Gretzky’s all time scoring record and win an MVP award in the process. Through 50 games this season Alexander Ovechkin has accounted for 31 goals and 31 assists for a total of 62 points, and he has a plus/minus of 14. He has some favorable odds of (+400) at the moment.
Making up the second half of the deadly one-two punch combo of him and McDavid, Leon Draisaitl is just as much of a threat to win the Hart Trophy as Connor McDavid is. Draisaitl, has current odds of (+650) which is a better value than his teammate but he is more of a longshot.
Johnathon Huberdeau comes in fourth on the list with favorable odds of (+650) at the moment. As his Florida Panthers are looking like one of the best teams in the National Hockey League this season, thanks to him and a great supporting cast by his side. He has accounted for a total of 70 points which has him second in the league behind McDavid, including 17 goals and 53 assists and his plus/minus of 25 which is also good for second in the league.
The Toronto Maple Leafs star has his team playing like a serious Stanley Cup contender at the moment. His current odds of (+750) also make him a valuable betting option as well at the moment. Matthews is currently second in the league with 33 goals and has 26 assists for a total of 59 points which places him 8th. His plus/minus of 7 has him towards the bottom half of the league however.
— NHL (@NHL) February 18, 2022
The Colorado Avalanche superstar missed a decent chunk of the start of the season which leaves him with a lot of ground to make up. However, MacKinnon is very capable of doing so as he has the Avs currently positioned as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup Finals. MacKinnon currently has 11 goals and 37 assists for a total of 48 points on the season. Had he not missed the first chunk of the year due to COVID-19 he would likely be higher on the list, but his +3000 odds are enough to drop a couple dollars on.
Shesterkin’s New York Rangers are one of the biggest surprises in the National Hockey League this season and his stellar play is one of the reasons why. He has accounted for a .939 save percentage and a record of 24-5-3 in his 32 starts this season. He only averages around 2.05 goals given up per game which is good enough for second in the league this season. His success is directly correlated to the New York Rangers success this season. With odds of +3000 he is a steal even as a longshot MVP winner.
Johnny Gaudreau’s Calgary Flames have been the hottest team in the National Hockey League as of late. His odds of +4000 has him positioned as a longshot, however, he will certainly climb up the odds list if his Flames keep playing so well, which means you should grab him now before his odds go down. He has accounted for 20 goals and his 43 assists is good for third in the league.
Kaprizov had the Minnesota Wild at the top of the National Hockey League for a while, and now he has himself in the top ten for Most Valuable Player consideration as well. As the second half of the season gets underway he has accounted for 23 goals and 38 assists and his 61 total points is good enough for 7th in the league. With odds of +4000 he could be a valuable steal.
Career goal No. 5️⃣0️⃣
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— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 19, 2022
Cale Makar is the longest of the longshots on this list in my opinion as he has been very underrated this season. Alongside Nathan MacKinnon he has also helped the Colorado Avalanche to the best record in the National Hockey League this season, he also has some very favorable odds. His 18 goals and 32 assists for a total of 50 points and his impressive plus/minus of 32 which is good enough for sixth in the league has him rounding out this impressive top ten list.
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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of FanDuel.
Image by: Connor Mah