NHL Hart Trophy Odds: McDavid, MacKinnon, and Matthews Circling the 2024-25 Crown

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NHL Hart Trophy Odds: McDavid, MacKinnon, and Matthews Circling the 2024-25 Crown

On Thursday, it became official. Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche took home his first Hart Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League's most valuable player.

MacKinnon posted a franchise record for points (140), which was good for second in the league behind Nikita Kucherov (144). The Avs' leader was a three-time finalist before finally taking home the hardware ahead of Kucherov, the 2018-19 winner, and three-time MVP Connor McDavid from the Edmonton Oilers.

Hockey has one of the most wide-open title pictures in sports, so we can't definitively say which teams and players will dominate the league next season here in June. The NHL Draft and the league's free agency period are also still to come.

Nonetheless, it's never too early to peruse a futures market. Let's dive into the Hart Trophy odds via the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook and see who 2024-25's favorites are.

NHL Hart Trophy Odds

2024-25 Hart Trophy Odds
Connor McDavid+180
Nathan MacKinnon+500
Auston Matthews+1000
Jack Hughes+1000
Nikita Kucherov+2000
Leon Draisaitl+2000
Cale Makar+2000
View Full Table

Connor McDavid, Oilers (+180)

Connor McDavid has a chance to move into a tie for third in all-time Hart Trophy wins with four when -- not if -- he gets his next one.

It's tough to call the 2023-24 campaign a "disappointment" for McDavid despite the fact that he didn't walk away with the MVP. The Oilers' captain still became the fifth player ever to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP) despite not winning it all as Edmonton fell one game short of this year's title.

McDavid posted the third-most points in the NHL (132), trailing only MacKinnon and Kucherov. He was 12 clear of fourth place, so his production was still on a different plane than most other All-Stars.

In a vacuum, we know that the league's best player can score; he captured the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals tallied in 2022-23. However, a down year in that column (32 goals; tied for 34th in then NHL) was going to make it difficult to justify giving McDavid the award again as voter fatigue was also a factor.

McDavid's right wing, Zach Hyman, posted 54 goals this season. If more of those can shift into #97's column instead of 100 assists (tied for 1st in the NHL), he'll be right back in the mix to recapture the sport's most prestigious individual award.

Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche (+500)

The last player to win back-to-back Hart Trophies was Alex Ovechkin from 2007 to 2009 when dominating for the Washington Capitals. Nathan MacKinnon is looking to buck that trend next season.

MacKinnon won his first this past campaign with some gaudy numbers atop the Avalanche's lead line. His 51 goals were fourth in hockey, and he was the only top-five scorer to eclipse 75 assists. He was third in apples (100) behind McDavid and Kucherov despite potting goals plenty on his own.

When you tie it altogether, no player balanced scoring, assisting, and team-level success like Mack. Colorado finished fifth in points in the Western Conference (107) despite some incredible turmoil with the team. Captain Gabriel Landeskog hasn't appeared since the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 2022 due to a knee injury that's expected to carry over into 2024-25. Winger Valeri Nichushkin's personal issues are also well-documented.

With so much of the salary cap either gone or unreliable, MacKinnon and Cale Makar (+2000) carried the load for the Avalanche to keep them in the mix. Continuing to do so will be a challenge, and Makar's presence and continued production from the blue line could hurt MacKinnon's chances for a repeat as the duo share credit. I'd fade him at this current mark.

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (+1000)

Either by way of improved playmaking or a monstrous season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews can remove himself from the conversation of the best player in the NHL that's never earned this honor.

Matthews has won three of the last four Rocket Richards, including 2023-24's after a 69-goal campaign. That was 12 markers past the next-leading scorer. When it comes to putting the puck in the back of the net, the Leafs' leading center is as good as it gets.

The issue is that his MVP candidacy falls apart in the assist column. With just 38 helpers, Matthews tumbled to sixth overall in points -- 37 points behind MacKinnon. Part of that might be on Toronto's reluctance to give him a bonafide scorer on the wing. After Hyman departed for Edmonton, Matthews' primary running mates this year were Tyler Bertuzzi (career-high of 30 goals) and pass-first right winger Mitchell Marner. He's going to finish a majority of the plays with those two.

Plus, the Maple Leafs didn't do him any favors in the "team success" category. They were just fifth in the East in points (102) when he lacked the scoring numbers of a MacKinnon or McDavid. Dominating the conference -- or at least improving upon 3.13 goals allowed per 60 minutes (second-worst of all playoff teams) -- would go a long way to aid his cause.

I wouldn't blame anyone for taking a 10-to-1 dart at Matthews based on all of this room he has to grow as one of the league's best scorers already.

Jack Hughes, Devils (+1000)

Before a season-ending shoulder injury, Jack Hughes was in the conversation for this year's Hart Trophy. There are plenty of reasons to believe he'll be back.

Hughes was 10th in the NHL at a pace of 1.27 points per game, which is even more bananas considering he's just 23 years old. All three of the players we've mentioned are in their prime, and Hughes might just be entering his.

The former top pick's room to grow comes from his squad, but they've already made an elite step in the right direction. The New Jersey Devils went 38-39-5 last year. That was in part due to their best player's injury, but they also allowed the fifth-most goals per 60 minutes (3.39) in the league and often forced Hughes -- and his friends -- into shootouts.

Yet, that elite step was striking a deal with the Calgary Flames for goalie Jacob Markstrom, who was third in the NHL last season in goals saved above expectation (29.78 GSAx). Keeping pucks out of the net is New Jersey's primary obstacle to contending in the East -- and thrusting Hughes into MVP consideration.

Should McDavid struggle with injury or odd circumstances in 2024-25, the Devils' franchise cornerstone is one of the fastest rising players in the league and can potentially challenge for the Hart.

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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.