NHL Hart Trophy Odds and Trends: Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews making their cases to win MVP

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Feb 21, 2024

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers

Canadian teams boast six of the last 10 Hart Trophy winners, including each of the last four years.

Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon remains the consensus favourite to win the Hart Trophy, but Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Toronto’s Auston Matthews are closing the gap.

Let’s take a look at the updated Hart Trophy odds and the value of taking McDavid and Matthews.

Make sure to check out our complete list of NHL game odds, NHL futures and NHL specials and props.

2023-24 Hart Trophy Odds

The Hart Trophy looks like it’s shaping up to be a four-man race down the backstretch of the season, with MacKinnon, McDavid, Matthews and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov all in the running. With a significant gap between those four players and the rest of the field, I’m putting on by best lawyer suit and arguing each players’ case to win the Hart Trophy.

Nathan MacKinnon should win the Hart Trophy because: His statistics are approaching historic levels this season.

MacKinnon is second in league scoring with 92 points (33G, 59A) which puts him on pace for a career high in both points (132) and goals (48), but it’s his production at home that has been particularly noteworthy. As of this writing, MacKinnon has a point in all 27 Colorado home games, the third-longest season-opening home point streak in NHL history. That lengthy streak has directly led to the Avalanche’s NHL-best 22-5-0 home record this season and remember, the Hart is awarded to the player deemed most valuable to his team. It’s tough to argue any player has been more valuable to their team than MacKinnon.

Nikita Kucherov should win the Hart Trophy because: He leads the NHL with 94 points (36G, 58A), which is a ridiculous 36 points more than the next Lighting player.

With significant time missed by players like goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and defenceman Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa could have quickly fallen out of the playoff race if not for Kucherov. He is on pace for 138 points and 53 goals and if the Bolts can climb out of a wild card spot and claim one of the top three playoff positions in the Atlantic Division, he should get a lot of love from Hart Trophy voters.

Connor McDavid should win the Hart Trophy because: He’s Connor McDavid.

Kidding…sort of. No one can go on a heater like McDavid. After a slow start to the season, he currently sits third in NHL scoring with 83 points and he leads the league with 62 assists. McDavid has 24 points (5G, 19A) over his last 10 games and he has dragged Edmonton from the basement of the Western Conference to third in the Pacific Division standings with several games in-hand on Vancouver and Vegas. McDavid will be solidly in the running for the Hart if he puts up 130+ points and the Oilers win the Pacific.

Auston Matthews should win the Hart Trophy because: He’s the best goal scorer in the world and it’s not even close.

Matthews leads the NHL with 49 goals, 10 more than the next closest player, and his franchise-record six hat tricks this season is more than the goal total of 317 players who have played at least 20 games. He is averaging just under a goal per game, putting him on pace to be the NHL’s first 70-goal scorer since the 1992-93 season. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Matthews should be a lock for the Hart if he scores the most goals in a season in over 30 years.

Last 10 Hart Trophy Winners

2023Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers
2022Auston MatthewsToronto Maple Leafs
2021Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers
2020Leon DraisaitlEdmonton Oilers
2019Nikita KucherovTampa Bay Lightning
2018Taylor HallNew Jersey Devils
2017Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers
2016Patrick KaneChicago Blackhawks
2015Carey PriceMontreal Canadiens
2014Sidney CrosbyPittsburgh Penguins

Between McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers can boast they’ve had four Hart Trophy winners in the last decade alone. Speaking of bragging rights, the Hart winner has come from a Canadian team six times since 2014, including the last four years.

Most Hart Trophies by Team

TeamNumber of Hart Trophies WonMost Recent Winner
Montreal Canadiens17Carey Price - 2015
Edmonton Oilers13Connor McDavid - 2023
Boston Bruins12Joe Thornton - 2006
Detroit Red Wings9Sergei Fedorov - 1994
Chicago Blackhawks7Patrick Kane - 2016
Pittsburgh Penguins7Sidney Crosby - 2014
Philadelphia Flyers4Eric Lindros - 1995
New York Rangers4Mark Messier - 1992

The Montreal Canadiens have an NHL-record 17 Hart Trophy winners in franchise history, but no Habs player has won since Carey Price in 2015. That record might not last long. The Edmonton Oilers have the second-most Hart winners at 13 and they could definitely add another four of five Harts over the next decade with McDavid and Draisaitl.

Teams That Have Never Had a Hart Trophy Winner

  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Calgary Flames
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dallas Stars
  • Florida Panthers
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Seattle Kraken
  • Vegas Golden Knights
  • Winnipeg Jets

Multiple Hart Trophy Winners

PlayerHart Trophies WonYears Won/Team
Wayne Gretzky91980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 (Edmonton Oilers), 1989 (Los Angeles Kings)
Gordie Howe61952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963 (Detroit Red Wings)
Eddie Shore41933, 1935, 1936, 1938 (Boston Bruins)
Howie Morenz31928, 1931, 1932 (Montreal Canadiens)
Bobby Orr31970, 1971, 1972 (Boston Bruins)
Bobby Clarke31973, 1975, 1976 (Philadelphia Flyers)
Mario Lemeuix31988, 1993, 1996 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Alex Ovechkin32008, 2009, 2013 (Washington Capitals)
Connor McDavid32017, 2021, 2023 (Edmonton Oilers)

No one will touch Wayne Gretzky’s record of nine career Hart Trophy wins, but McDavid is halfway to catching Gordie Howe for second all-time. McDavid still has three Harts to win, but he’s only 27-years-old and he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Hart Trophy Betting Trends

  • Only eight goalies have been awarded the Hart Trophy, with Carey Price (2014-15) and Jose Theodore (2001-02) the only goalies to win in the last 25 years.
  • The last player to win back-to-back Hart’s is Alex Ovechkin in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
  • Forwards have won the last eight Hart’s and centres have won six of the last 10.
  • No defenceman has won the Hart Trophy since Chris Pronger in 1999-00.