The Hart Trophy is awarded to the MVP each and every year in the NHL. By no surprise, Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid is the reigning winner of the award and heads into the 2023-24 campaign as the clear-cut favorite to do so again. Others expected to give McDavid a run for their money are Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, Matthew Tkachuk, and Auston Matthews, to name a few. Below, we’ll discuss some of the contenders for the Hart Trophy award.
Hart Trophy Futures: Connor McDavid Favored to Repeat
- The Hart Trophy futures are favoring Connor McDavid
- He won the award last season
- Below, we’ll discuss some of the contenders
Is this really any surprise? Well, no. McDavid is undoubtedly the best hockey player in the world and that’s not even an argument. The Oilers captain put up godly numbers in 2022-23, finishing with 64 goals and 89 assists, totaling 153 points, which broke numerous records. McDavid has now won three Harts and has captured the honor in two of the last three seasons. If he did manage to do it again, he’d be the first back-to-back winner since Alex Ovechkin in the late 2000s. McDavid owns steep -105 odds at Bodog.
Next up we have Nathan MacKinnon. The Colorado Avalanche standout tallied 42 goals and 69 assists in 71 games. MacKinnon was an integral piece to the Avs’ 2022 Stanley Cup run as well. With Gabriel Landeskog still out, MacKinnon will be expected to step up and be one of the top producers for this team. I don’t know if he can keep up with McDavid, though. He’s got the second-best odds at most NHL sportsbooks.
Draisaitl is the second-best player in the NHL to many. In other words, the Oilers have the best duo around. The thing is, when McDavid is sidelined for whatever reason, Draisaitl is capable of stepping up and getting it done. He scored 52 goals and supplied 76 assists in 2022-23. Oh, and the German did win the Hart Trophy a few years back. He could certainly do so again, regardless of what the Oilers do in the playoffs.
It’s safe to say the Florida Panthers won this trade with the Calgary Flames. Matthew Tkachuk has been a staple for last year’s Cup finalists, producing 109 points in 2022-23 for a total of 40 goals and 69 assists. He actually finished third in the Hart Trophy voting, his best finish ever. The Panthers are going to be strong again and Tkachuk will only build off his first campaign down south. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him as a finalist for the Hart Trophy again.
You can’t ignore Matthews. The Toronto Maple Leafs star just inked a new deal that has made him the highest-paid player in the league and also won the Hart Trophy in 2021-22. Last season, despite the Maple Leafs disappointing again in the playoffs, Matthews had 40 goals and 45 assists. That was a step back from his Hart Trophy-winning season however where the American had an NHL-best 60 goals and 106 points in total. The only way Matthews has any chance at winning the Hart Trophy is if he puts up much better numbers in 2023-24 or else he’ll likely be watching McDavid take it home for the second year in a row.