McDavid skating

Edmonton Oilers player Connor McDavid during an NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Calgary, Canada. (AP Photo/Larry MacDougal)

  • Edmonton Oilers’ superstar Connor McDavid is favored to win the 2022 Hart Trophy
  • Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon is the second favorite, while Florida’s Aleksander Barkov is a longshot
  • Read below for the best bets and sleeper picks for the 2022 Hart Trophy

To the surprise of nobody, Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid is favored in the Hart Trophy odds entering the 2021-22 NHL season. McDavid won the 2021 Hart Trophy unanimously and is widely regarded as the best player in the NHL.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon is a distant second behind McDavid, while Florida’s Aleksander Barkov is among the intriguing longshots available to wager on.

Can anyone challenge McDavid for the Hart Trophy in 2021-22?

2021-22 Hart Trophy Odds

Player Odds
Connor McDavid (Oilers) +200
Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche) +650
Auston Matthews (Leafs) +950
Nikita Kucherov (Lightning) +1200
David Pastrnak (Bruins) +1600
Leon Draisaitl (Oilers) +1600
Artemi Panarin (Rangers) +1600
Sebastian Aho (Hurricanes) +1900
Mikko Rantanen (Avalanche) +1900
 Brayden Point (Lightning) +1900
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning) +2200
Mitch Marner (Leafs) +2500
Brad Marchand (Bruins) +2500
Mathew Barzal (Islanders) +2500
Aleksander Barkov (Panthers) +2500
Mark Stone (Golden Knights) +2500
Aleksander Barkov (Panthers) +2500
Mark Stone (Golden Knights) +2500
Patrick Kane (Blackhawks) +3000
Cale Makar (Avalanche) +3000

Odds as of Oct. 12th at DraftKings

A forward has won the Hart Trophy in 15 straight seasons. The last back-to-back winner was Alex Ovechkin in 2008 and 2009.

McDavid Is on Different Planet

The 2021-22 Hart Trophy odds tell you it’s Connor McDavid and everyone else when it comes to MVP race this season. McDavid is favored for good reason after receiving all 100 first-place votes in the 2021 Hart Trophy voting. The Oilers’ superstar became the first unanimous winner of the award since Wayne Gretzky in 1982.

Considering McDavid dominated the Hart voting last season, his early +200 price in this season’s NHL odds is a gift to bettors. McDavid exploded for 105 points in 56 games last season and has the talent to produce at a similar rate in 2021-22. He’ll be playing in a weak Pacific Division, where he’ll get to torch rebuilding teams like San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles every other night.

McDavid got a big boost this offseason when the Oilers signed former Maple Leafs’ forward Zach Hyman. The speedy winger is expected to play on a line with McDavid and will compliment the phenom’s elite playmaking with his finishing abilities. Hyman has scored at least 15 goals in four straight seasons and will aid an Oilers’ power play that led the NHL in efficiency last year.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews round out the top-three Hart favorites. MacKinnon is capable of producing at a level similar to McDavid, but there’s still an evident talent gap between the two. Matthews is an elite goal scorer yet couldn’t steal a single first-place Hart vote from McDavid despite scoring at an absurd rate.

When there’s a player that’s clearly better than everyone else, you need to take advantage of plus-money value. McDavid’s Hart odds have already started to shorten and will only improve once the puck drops. McDavid has finished top-five in Hart Trophy voting every year and is the best bet entering 2021-22.

Hart Trophy Sleeper Picks

McDavid at plus-money is the best Hart Trophy bet you can make heading into the season, but are there any sleepers worth a wager? Florida Panthers’ forward Aleksander Barkov (+2500) is flying under the radar in the Hart Trophy odds and offers sneaky good value as a potential challenger to McDavid.

Barkov finished sixth in the 2021 Hart Trophy voting and should at least be listed among the top-10 favorites heading into the 2021-22 campaign. The two-way center recorded 26 goals and 58 points in 50 contests last year and is just three years removed from a 96-point season. Barkov is playing on an improved Florida team that is rising in the Stanley Cup odds.

The Panthers made several moves this offseason that should bolster Barkov’s production. The team signed Sam Reinhart and Joe Thornton and will have a fully healthy Aaron Ekblad quarterbacking the first power-play unit. Barkov ranks top-10 in points-per-game over the past three years and has great defensive attributes. He offers big upside as a Hart Trophy sleeper pick.

Players to Avoid

When it comes to who you should avoid in the Hart Trophy odds, there are several names to weary of. Tampa Bay has three players in the top-15 Hart Trophy favorites entering the 2021-22 season. This team is due for regression, however, after losing several important depth pieces this offseason.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is an extremely talented goalie, but he’s better off being targeted in the Vezina odds. There’s so much young offensive firepower in today’s NHL that goalies are facing an uphill battle to even get into the MVP conversation. Montreal Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price is the only goalie to win the Vezina in the past 20 years.

You also don’t want to get tempted into betting on household names at longshot prices. Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are all available in the +3000 range, but it’s clear their best days are behind them. Injuries become more of a concern with age, as Kane and Crosby have both missed time in recent years. Ovechkin, meanwhile, already went down with injury in this year’s preseason.

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Brady Trettenero

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