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2023/24 NHL season: Hart Memorial Trophy favourites

The NHL regular season is closing out its last 15-20 games but the intensity is ramping up at a quick pace, not least in the NHL MVP race as the stars of the league look to carry their respective team to the playoffs.

There are many MVP-caliber players in this league, but there is only one who can win the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.

Here is a list of some of the current favourites for the award.

2023/24 NHL Hart Trophy odds

Nathan MacKinnon

-155

Auston Matthews

+450

Connor McDavid

+500

Nikita Kucherov

+550

Connor Hellebuyck

+6000

Nathan MacKinnon -155

Nathan MacKinnon has turned heads the entire season, and with the regular season almost complete, he comes in with the best odds to win the MVP as it currently stands.

MacKinnon is the favorite for many reasons, as he looks poised to win his first MVP of his illustrious career.

Statistically, he is doing it all. He has over 40 goals for the third time in his career, and over 70 assists for the first time. These results are shattering his career bests, as he also has 116 points in just 68 games.

His leadership on and off the ice has given the Colorado Avalanche an incredible standing in the Central Division, Western Conference, and entire NHL. They are currently favorites to win the Western Conference and Central Division.

If MacKinnon continues to perform how he has, not only will he win his first Hart Trophy, but he and the Avalanche could win their second Stanley Cup together.

Auston Matthews +450

Second on the list is Toronto Maple Leafs’ center Auston Matthews.

Matthews is the key to Toronto’s success, which has been obvious since he joined the league in the 2016/17 season. For many reasons, he is without question MVP-caliber.

The 26-year-old is a goal-scoring machine, and a threat in each of his games. He currently has 55 goals, and while he has cooled off lately he is still in line to hit 60+ and earn his second career Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL goal-scoring leader.

He has also added a point’s percentage well over 1.00. Other than his offensive talents, he has a strong overall play, can play physical and is extremely strong at winning faceoffs. There isn’t much he cannot do.

It is safe to say that without Auston Matthews in the lineup for Toronto every night, this team would be in a much worse situation. 

Connor McDavid +500

The NHL’s best player, Connor McDavid, is the third player on this list.

Early on in the season, he and the Edmonton Oilers were performing very poorly. However, bouncebacks were expected, and that is exactly what we got.

McDavid is producing at insane levels, that would easily have him at the league point scoring race if it weren’t for that unexpected slow start. He is third in the league in points and first in assists.

The Oilers ace is also showing no signs of slowing down. He is the total backbone of the Edmonton operation, who now have a decent cushion in second overall in the Pacific Division. They are now on their way to the playoffs, and that is largely due to him.

McDavid is the definition of an MVP, and whether he wins it this year or not, you can always expect him to be in the conversation.

Nikita Kucherov +550

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning finds himself fourth on this list of MVP favorites.

This elite forward has had an consistently excellent season that has had him at or near the league lead in points all year. He remains one of the best forwards in the league, and it is extremely difficult to contain him.

Kucherov is a 40+ goal scorer, and is on pace for well over 125 points. He truly is a beast on the ice.

He has been a major contributor in Tampa Bay’s success over the past few seasons, but as the team regresses, his importance increases at a much higher rate. He is bringing a standard of excellence to this team and helping them stay afloat.

Connor Hellebuyck +6,000

Closing out the list is the first non-forward in Connor Hellebuyck. The Winnipeg Jets’ goaltender runs the show in Winnipeg, and is a major factor in their extremely special season.

He is another player that gives hope that a Canadian team may win a Stanley Cup for the first time since 1993.

Hellebuyck is at the top of all major goaltending stats this season, which is also usual for this net minder. He leads in goals against average (2.34), save percentage (.921), is third in shutouts (4), and fourth in wins (30). His consistency has frustrated shooters all year.

Not only is he likely to win his second Vezina Trophy, but he has a great chance to be the ninth goaltender to win the MVP and third since the 1997/98 season. He is carrying this Jets team to a great season, and they would be lost without him.

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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