- Bovada has issued new NHL prop bets for the 2019/20 Hart Trophy
- Connor McDavid (+350) is the favorite to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player
- Auston Matthews (+1200) and David Pastrnak (+2800) are intriguing picks to win the award
The Hart Trophy race is especially hard to handicap this season. Connor McDavid is returning from a knee injury and plays for an Oilers team that will likely miss the playoffs, while NHL history indicates that Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is unlikely to win consecutive league MVPs.
There hasn’t been a repeat winner of the award in over a decade, and since Wayne Gretzky won eight straight Harts from 1980 to 1987, only two players (Dominik Hasek and Alex Ovechkin) have gone back-to-back.
After looking at Kucherov, McDavid and Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon in our Art Ross odds preview, let’s instead examine two Most Valuable Player longshots. All odds from Bovada.
NHL 2019-20 HART TROPHY WINNER
|Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)||+350|
|Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)||+550|
|Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)||+700|
|Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)||+1000|
|Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)||+1200|
|Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)||+1200|
|Taylor Hall (New Jersey Devils)||+1400|
|Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)||+2200|
|John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs)||+2200|
|Mitch Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs)||+2500|
|Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)||+2500|
|Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)||+2800|
|Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning)||+2800|
|David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)||+2800|
Sporting a mustache that makes him look like a Spanish swordsman, Auston Matthews is rumored to become the Maple Leafs’ first captain since 2016.
The 22-year-old is also in good position to become league MVP when you consider this: the last five Hart trophies have all been claimed by first-time winners, and the four players favored ahead of him on the list above (McDavid, Kucherov, Crosby, Ovechkin) have all won the award before.
Auston Matthews’ mom approves of the moustache ??? #JayAndDan
(?: @TSN_Sports) pic.twitter.com/ypo6uMnNvF
— #JayAndDan (@JayAndDan) September 13, 2019
Matthews averaged better than 0.5 goals per game in his first three years in the league (111 G in 212 GP) and would likely already have a 50-goal campaign on his resume if he didn’t miss 34 games over the past two seasons. He also made a bit of a leap in Toronto’s latest playoff loss to the Bruins, putting up five goals and an assist in seven games.
Two fellow Leafs, John Tavares (+2200) and Mitch Marner (+2500), are also top ten Hart candidates. While this could split the vote, it also means that Matthews has incredibly talented teammates that will help boost his goal and point totals.
Entering his sixth season, it’s easy to forget that David Pastrnak is still just 23 years old. Since the Bruins stole him with the 25th pick of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the lovable Czech sniper has raised his level of play every year he has been in the league.
Pasta set a new career high with 38 goals in 2018/19, accomplishing the feat in just 66 games. Honing the defensive side of his game and set to once again play on the NHL’s best line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, it’s easy to envision a 50-goal, 100-point season for Pastrnak if he continues on his current career trajectory.
Here’s where David Pastrnak ranks on the NHL Network’s list of “Top 50 Players Right Now.”https://t.co/uxAUYqZ6ln pic.twitter.com/40eKXE00gU
— NESN (@NESN) September 16, 2019
With both of his linemates over 30 and coming off a grueling, and ultimately disappointing, run to the Stanley Cup Final, Pastrnak’s play will be key to Boston’s postseason chances.
If he can carry his club, he may also be handed a Hart Trophy.