Hart Trophy odds update: Pastrnak forcing his way toward the top
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The NHL season is still in its infancy, but if you had to pick a Hart Trophy winner right this second, who would it be?
Not so easy, is it?
Several players have pieced together great starts to the season, resulting in a jump up the odds leaderboard.
Here are the latest odds for the NHL Hart Trophy winner, along with some of the biggest movers since the start of the season:
|Player||Current Odds (11/5)||Opening Odds (10/1)|
Connor McDavid (3-1)
Previous odds (Oct. 1): 13-4
No surprise here, as Connor McDavid opened as the clear favorite and continues to occupy that spot after notching 24 points through 16 games, leading the Edmonton Oilers to first in the Pacific Division.
If the Oilers make the playoffs, McDavid will warrant significant consideration for the award due to his team's lack of depth. However, the underlying numbers are slightly concerning for the club.
Edmonton has outscored teams 18-9 at five-on-five when McDavid is on the ice despite being outshot and outchanced. That's a testament to McDavid's skill, but even a little regression from him would be incredibly detrimental to the Oilers' playoff chances.
Nikita Kucherov (8-1)
Previous odds (Oct. 1): 5-1
But one of their stars is generating concern, as 11 points in 13 games is an alarming rate of production for Nikita Kucherov, who has topped 100 points in each of the last two seasons. It's still early, but he'll need to score 89 points over the team's final 69 games to reach that mark again (don't hold your breath).
Something really does seem off about Kucherov, who has posted pedestrian numbers at both five-on-five and on the power play.
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (10-1)
Previous odds (Oct. 1): 33-1
David Pastrnak's 28 points through his team's first 14 games are the most since Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Forsberg managed the same tally in 2005-06.
It's been an unbelievable start to the campaign for Pasta, who's on a 12-game point streak after being held off the scoresheet during the Boston Bruins' first two contests. He's scored eight power-play goals, which is more than the total 10 teams have produced.
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron also deserve credit. With Pastrnak at right wing, the three form the NHL's most dominant line, combining for 31 goals for and only nine against this season. They're unstoppable right now with Pastrnak as the ring leader, and an MVP both on and off the ice.
Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights (16-1)
Previous odds (Oct. 1): 50-1
It's become common to call Mark Stone the best winger in hockey, but that doesn't make it any less true. He's on pace for his best career offensive output after notching 18 points in 15 games.
Stone's underlying numbers are right in line with his career averages. That suggests his production could regress, but perhaps the change of scenery has made all the difference. Including the playoffs, he's tallied 41 points in 40 games since being dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils (20-1)
Previous odds (Oct. 1): 12-1
Taylor Hall took home the Hart Trophy at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, his second season with the New Jersey Devils. A knee injury limited him to just 33 games last year, but optimism was high in New Jersey coming into 2019-20 following general manager Ray Shero's busy offseason.
Early returns haven't met lofty expectations. Hall has recorded fewer goals (two) than the Devils' wins (three) through their first 12 games. New Jersey is also being outscored and outshot at five-on-five when Hall is on the ice as frustration starts to build in Newark.
John Carlson, Washington Capitals (25-1)
Previous odds (Oct. 1): N/A
No one has made a bigger jump up this board than Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who has never received a Hart Trophy vote.
His 23 points rank fifth this season, and he's scored by far the most among defensemen. He's totaled more goals and assists than Sidney Crosby, Mitch Marner, and Elias Pettersson, among others. The Capitals' 20 goals at five-on-five when he's on the ice slots Carlson second among all NHL players.
His credentials are obvious, and if the season ended today, he might be the Hart Trophy front-runner. However, getting the support of a star-studded cast doesn't help Carlson's case, and it's uncertain if his point-scoring pace is sustainable.
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.