When it comes to dominance of the NHL, Connor McDavid isn’t quite up there in the stratosphere with greats of previous generations such as Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. However, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the Edmonton Oilers captain is the most dominant player in the game today. McDavid has won three of the last five Art Ross Trophies and two of the past five Hart Trophies. In the NHL picks, he’s favored to win both awards again this season.
|Connor McDavid (Oilers)||+190|
|Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche)||+650|
|Auston Matthews (Maple Leafs)||+700|
|Nikita Kucherov (Lightning)||+800|
|David Pastrnak (Bruins)||+1200|
McDavid is the +190 favorite in the NHL picks to win the Hart Trophy. He’s listed as even money in the NHL odds to capture the Art Ross Trophy. McDavid is the only NHL player over the past two decades to lead the NHL in scoring in successive seasons.
The Favorite: McDavid threw down the gauntlet to his Oilers teammates over the summer. He stated for public consumption that it was time for their team to start making some noise in the playoffs. Through six NHL seasons, McDavid has won one playoff series.
It’s that kind of passion that could see McDavid drive both himself and Edmonton to greater heights. In the NHL awards picks, even at +190 that’s a great price to get on McDavid.
The Value: Like McDavid, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon called out his team after the Avs again came up short in the postseason, losing to Vegas in the second round. MacKinnon has collected 90+ points in each of his last three full NHL seasons. If Colorado can finally get over the hump and McDavid comes off it even a little bit, MacKinnon offers tremendous value in the NHL Hart Trophy picks at +650.
The Favorite: If McDavid charges to 100 points in 53 games or less, then this race will be over early. Factor in the 2019-20 win by McDavid teammate and sometime linemate Leon Draisaitl and Edmonton players have won four of the past five Art Ross Trophies. But with three wins already on his resume, at Even money, McDavid is the chalk in the NHL Art Ross Trophy picks.
The Value: Three seasons ago, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning was unstoppable. He roared to 128 points in 82 games to win the Art Ross Trophy. He missed all of the 2021 regular season following hip surgery, then blasted off for 34 points in 25 games as the Lightning won their second straight Stanley Cup. If Kucherov carries that pace over to the 2021-22 season, he’ll be an Art Ross threat at +600 in the NHL awards picks.
The Favorite: Many hockey pundits felt Cale Makar was robbed when last season’s Norris Trophy pick was Adam Fox of the New York Rangers. Makar’s time will come. He’s a sensational player at both ends of the ice. Makar averaged a point a game for the Avalanche last season. He’s the chalk at +350.
The Value: It’s a shame that Victor Hedman has only been the Norris Trophy pick on one occasion, in 2017-18. The Lightning defender is Hall of Famer in waiting at deserves another Norris. Don’t count out the 2019-20 Stanley Cup MVP at +700.
The Favorite: All Andrei Vasilevskiy does virtually every season is play more games and win more games than every NHL netminder. The guy is a workhorse, yet seldom endures off nights. The Lightning said last season that it was criminal that Vasilevskiy has only been the choice in the Vezina Trophy picks once, in 2018-19. They’re right. Lock him in at +350. His betting line is only going to shorten.
The Value: Both 2021 Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas to Chicago) and finalist Philippe Grubauer (Colorado to Seattle) moved during the offseason from contenders to weaker clubs. That probably takes them out of the Vezina reckoning. Going the other way, from Arizona to Colorado, is Darcy Kuemper. If he fills Grubauer’s skates, Kuemper will be of great value at +1200 in the NHL awards picks.
The Favorite: Based on his performance in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs when scored four goals in 20 games while helping the Montreal Canadiens to the final, forward Cole Caufield is a popular choice to win the Calder in the NHL awards picks at +175. But the surprise favorite at +150 is Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras. Zegras collected three goals and 13 points in 24 games last season – one game shy of losing his status as an NHL rookie.
The Value: Spencer Knight signed with the Florida Panthers after finishing his NCAA season with Boston. By the end of their first-round Stanley Cup series with the defending champion Lightning, Knight was Florida’s No. 1 goalie. The Panthers could be a real sleeper team this season. If Knight ends up as Florida’s go-to goalie, then he’s worth his weight in gold in the Calder Trophy picks at odds of +800.