NHL

NHL Hart Trophy Odds: Nathan MacKinnon Has Seized Control

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Hart Trophy Odds: Nathan MacKinnon Has Seized Control

With just over a month left in the 2023-24 NHL regular season, the Hart Trophy race is starting to clear up.

The race to be recognized as the league's top player has been a competitive one all season, featuring multiple favorites throughout the campaign. But with just a handful of games remaining, one name is starting to pull away from the rest of the pack.

Let's dive into the Hart Trophy odds via the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

NHL Hart Trophy Odds

Player
Hart Trophy Odds
Nathan MacKinnon-150
Connor McDavid+410
Auston Matthews+470
Nikita Kucherov+500
David Pastrnak+5500
Connor Hellebuyck+5500
Quinn Hughes+5500
View Full Table

Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche (-150)

Nathan MacKinnon has been in the mix for the Hart Trophy for the majority of this season. With roughly a month to go, he's starting to run away with it.

It's been a sensational year for MacKinnon as he's in the midst of the best season of his career. That's all the more impressive considering how great of a career he's had up until this point. As of March 13th, he's riding a 13-game point streak to go along with his record run on home ice.

With a month left to go in the season, the Colorado Avalanche star has already set a new career-high mark in points. He's leading the NHL with 113 points while ranking fourth in goals (41) and second in assists (72). It's hard to argue with his place at the top of this market, and it's going to take a lot for someone else to take the lead from him.

Add in that he's been the major driver behind the Avs' playoff hopes in a year where they haven't been as dominant as usual, and his Hart Trophy resume looks pretty flawless.

There's still a month and anything can happen, but right now, it's MacKinnon's award to lose.

Connor McDavid, Oilers (+410)

One way or another, Connor McDavid was going to find his way back into contention for the Hart Trophy. It was inevitable -- and, well, here we are.

The Edmonton Oilers are likely on their way to the playoffs despite a horrendous start to the season, and a lot of their success has to do with McDavid's play. He's upped his defensive game under head coach Kris Knoblauch, but it's his offense that still does all the talking.

The reigning Hart Trophy winner has put together another special season, posting 103 points in 61 games thus far. Had McDavid not missed some time earlier this season, there's a good chance he'd be leading the NHL in points yet again.

Those 103 points break down to a league-leading 79 assists -- which are 10 away from his career-high -- and 24 goals. Him netting only 24 goals is a bit of a shocker considering he scored 64 last season -- but we can give him a pass this time around.

Nonetheless, we are in the midst of a strong end to another successful season for McDavid, and the Oilers' star can put some pressure on MacKinnon, even if the Hart Trophy may be out of reach. As we've seen with the superstar center, he can put up points in bunches.

If you're looking for a non-favorite to bet on, McDavid is the best option.

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (+470)

Auston Matthews was the favorite the last time I wrote one of these, about two weeks ago -- how quickly things can change, huh?

After 55 games, Matthews had a stunning 52 goals and was on his way to potentially being the first player since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny in 1992-93 to score 70 goals in a season. And then he stopped scoring at will.

While there's a good chance that Matthews does lead the NHL in goals this campaign when it's all said and done, he's now at 54 goals in 66 games, meaning that 70 is well out of sight barring a crazy-hot run. Scoring 60 goals will still be an incredible accomplishment (assuming he reaches that milestone), but it's not going to be enough for him to take home his second Hart Trophy.

It also doesn't help that Matthews hasn't been big on dishing out assists. The Toronto Maple Leafs' star has just 26 this season, which puts him on pace to finish with the fewest assists he's had since the 2019-20 campaign (2020-21 was a shortened season).

Right now, he's at 80 points overall -- still a respectable amount and a tally that gives him a chance for his second-ever 100-point season. But that's probably not enough to get him the Hart Trophy in 2023-24.

It will take an insane final month for Matthews to get back in this conversation.

Nikita Kucherov, Lightning (+500)

Another former Hart Trophy winner joins the list as Nikita Kucherov remains in the discussion despite this being his lowest placement odds-wise since the start of the season.

This is the first time I'm writing about the Hart Trophy odds this season and Kucherov isn't the current leader in points. It's been that kind of year for the Tampa Bay Lightning forward.

Prior to 2023-24, it had been a couple years since we've seen Kucherov play at this level. The long seasons that often saw the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals took a toll on Kucherov, whose body had broken down a bit and saw him miss 10-plus games in both the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons -- he didn't play at all in the 2020-21 regular season.

Kucherov returned to a 100-point output last year, finishing with 113 points. As it currently stands now, he has 106 points and should eventually near his previous career-high of 128 from 2018-19.

The fact of the matter for Kucherov is that he is playing from behind with MacKinnon and McDavid in terms of overall play -- even if he's right behind them in terms of a point-per-game basis.

There will certainly be an argument to be had for the Lightning winger once all 82 games have been played, but it's unlikely he can take the crown from MacKinnon after recently losing the points lead to the Avs' star.


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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.