Connor McDavid enjoyed another spectacular season in 2020-21, claiming the Art Ross Trophy while racking up an NHL-best 105 points, and also winning the Hart Trophy as the league MVP for the second time in his career.
More of the same is expected from the Edmonton Oilers captain in the upcoming NHL campaign. McDavid now leads the way as the favourite to become the first player to win the Hart Trophy in consecutive seasons in over a decade, sporting short +400 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
McDavid has emerged as the dominant force in the NHL since being selected first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old has cracked the 100-point mark four times over the past five seasons, and has led the league in points on three occasions during that stretch. The four-time NHL All-Star has benefited from playing alongside Leon Draisaitl, who took home the Hart Trophy in 2020, and sits just short of the favourites as a +1200 wager at sports betting sites to do it again next season. McDavid also enjoyed a stronger supporting cast in Edmonton that lifted the Oilers to seventh overall in goals scored last season.
Of course, there is no shortage of talented scorers closely trailing McDavid on the Hart Trophy odds. Nathan MacKinnon sits as the +600 second favourite, just ahead of last season's top goal scorer Auston Matthews at +650. The Hart Trophy winner in 2019, Nikita Kucherov, follows at +750, while Draisaitl is joined at +1200 on those NHL odds by Artemi Panarin, David Pastrnak, and Mikko Rantanen.
MacKinnon will be on a mission in the upcoming season after his Colorado Avalanche made yet another early exit from the NHL playoffs. However, the Nova Scotia native still enjoyed a steady regular season campaign, racking up 65 points in 48 games, and finishing third in Hart Trophy voting.
Matthews continued his ascension into the ranks of the NHL's goal-scoring elite last season, leading the league with 41 markers and earning a second-place finish in Hart voting. Like MacKinnon, Matthews led a Toronto Maple Leafs squad that closed out the season with yet another early playoff exit. However, with the Maple Leafs' core set to return largely intact next season, Matthews is poised to once again fill the net and challenge for his first nod as MVP.
Things are a little less certain for Kucherov. The Tampa Bay Lightning star played a pivotal role in the team's march to a second straight Stanley Cup win, but his durability could arise as an issue after he was forced to miss all of the past regular season due to injury.