NHL Art Ross Trophy Odds: Who Will Lead the League in Points?

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz

The Art Ross Trophy goes to the player who leads the league in points during the regular season. This year, the award looks to be a three-horse race that could come down to the wire.

The three horses are all superstars in the NHL, and it would surprise no one that they are in contention to lead the league in points.

Let's look at the race, with all NHL awards odds coming from FanDuel Sportsbook.

All stats via NaturalStatTrick

Art Ross Trophy Odds

Nikita Kucherov94+110
Connor McDavid83+175
Nathan MacKinnon92+250

Nikita Kucherov (+110)

Nikita Kucherov still feels a tad underrated for how good he has been in his career. He's not often mentioned among the game's biggest superstars. It might be because he plays as a wing and isn't as impactful defensively as a center, but he's definitely been one of the most productive players in the NHL.

Kucherov is second in the league in points per game since 2017-18. The highlight of his career was his outstanding 2018-19 campaign. He was named the league's MVP that season, scoring 128 points. At the time, that was the most points in a season in the salary cap era.

This season, the Russian winger has lit up the scoreboard. His 94 points are the most in the league, and his clip of 1.68 points per game is also the highest. That's higher than his 2018-19 pace of 1.56.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have loaded up their top line, putting Kucherov with Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos. These players have played together for close to eight seasons and have been in deep playoff runs, so they have developed a lot of chemistry. It certainly helps that Tampa currently has the best power play in the league, clicking at a 30.2% clip.

Tampa Bay has 25 games remaining in the regular season, and if Kucherov continues at his current pace, he would finish with 136 points. That would have been second last year, but it may be enough to win the race this season.

Kucherov definitely deserves to be the favorite, but he has two players breathing down his neck who have a chance to pass him.

Connor McDavid (+175)

The three-time defending Art Ross Trophy winner and five-time overall winner, Connor McDavid looked to be out of the race this season at one point. He started off slowly and missed a couple of games that cost him ground in the points race.

You can keep the best player in the world down for only so long -- as McDavid has shown. On January 24th, McDavid was 22 points off the pace for the scoring lead. Now, he's only 11 points behind Kucherov (as of 2/21/24).

In the nine games since January 24th, McDavid has 23 points. That's a pace of 2.55 points per game. Overall, on the season, he's averaging 1.66 per game.

An interesting wrinkle to McDavid is that the Edmonton Oilers have played just 52 games -- the fewest in the NHL. That's five fewer games than Kucherov's Lightning. McDavid missed two games early in the season, so those games in hand will be useful for him to catch up.

McDavid can rip off insane scoring runs better than anyone else can and is currently averaging close to two points per game since the calendar turned to 2024.

It shouldn't surprise anyone if McDavid winds up winning another Art Ross -- he's arguably the most talented player in the history of the NHL. If you bet on him to reach unthinkable heights in terms of points, it's paid off for you in the past.

I think there is value in getting +175 on him to finish as the top scorer.

Nathan MacKinnon (+250)

The third player on our list is the only one of this group who has never won the award before, but Nathan MacKinnon has come close. What held him back in past seasons was missing a few games, but he has yet to miss one this season.

Another thing he has yet to miss is the scoresheet in home games, tallying a point in every home contest. He recorded an assist with just 28 seconds left in Tuesday's game to keep that streak alive. The Colorado Avalanche play 14 of their remaining 25 games in the altitude of Denver.

MacKinnon currently trails Kucherov by two points. He's played one more game than Kuch, but their respective teams have each played 57 games. Only McDavid averages more points per game than MacKinnon across the last three seasons.

Nate Mack's 1.61 points per game this season are in third behind the two players with better odds than him. At home this season, he's averaging 2.07 points per game, by far the best mark in the league.

He benefits from playing with two elite players in Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar. Rantanen is lethal with the puck on his stick and is the perfect winger to compliment MacKinnon. Makar is an elite skater -- one of the few players in the league who can keep up with MacKinnon -- and they are extremely dangerous when on the ice together.

MacKinnon's home form and the fact that he's only two points off the lead right now makes these +250 odds enticing.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.