NHL News

Hard-fought battle for the Hart early in the season

Hart Odds Tracker: Czech Yourself! David Pastrnak Leads the League in Points

We are just about a month into the 2019-20 NHL season and we are already seeing a few players separate themselves in the points race, making them immediate contenders for the Hart Trophy. The Hart is normally won by a player leading the league in points and/or goals, so that’s a good barometer of where players stand right now. 

Let’s take a look at some of the 2020 Hart Trophy contenders: 

Pastrnak Piling Up the Points

The Hart Memorial Trophy

 The leading scorer in the NHL after one month of the season has played as many as three fewer games than other players behind him. David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins has played in 13 games through November 3rd, which

is three fewer than the Capitals, who have John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin in the top ten scorers.  

 Pastrnak has performed at an over two points per game rate with 27 points in 13 games. He has 13 goals and 14 points in just 13 games so far this season. He leads the league in points, is tied for the lead in goals, and is tied for fifth in the league in assists. He’s done it all for a Boston Bruins team that is off to an outstanding 10-1-2 start. 

 Dynamic duo in Edmonton 

 The Edmonton Oilers have a strong Hart Trophy candidate that’s on fire to start the season, and it’s not Connor McDavid. McDavid is still doing very well as he has 23 points in 15 games, but Leon Draisaitl has stolen some of the spotlight with 26 points in 15 games.  

 Draisaitl is second in the league in points, tied with Pastrnak for the lead in goals, and tied for seventh in the league with 13 assists. Even more impressively, only seven of Draisiaitl’s points have been on the power play, with three of his goals being game-winning goals (two of which came in overtime). 

 But we can’t forget about McDavid. The odds-on favorite to win MVP still has the starpower with six goals and 17 assists in 15 games. Expect that goal total to rise for McDavid as the season moves along. 

Can Carlson Buck the Trend? 

 A defenseman hasn’t won the Hart Trophy since Chris Pronger in the 1999-2000 season, but Washington Capitals blueliner John Carlson has a chance to end that trend. Carlson is tied for third in the league with 23 points and is second in the league with 16 assists. 

 Carlson set a Capitals franchise record with 23 points in October. It is the most points in a single month by a Capitals defenseman. He won’t keep up that pace, but he can be a darkhorse to take home the Hart Trophy. 


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The Rest of the Pack Looking at Hart Trophy Odds

There are still a handful of other players that need to be considered.  

Elias Pettersson, fresh off the Calder Trophy last year, is leading the way for the surprising Vancouver Canucks. He is sixth in the league with 20 points.  

 Brad Marchand is also up there with Pastrnak with 23 points, but his reputation should take him out of the conversation. 

 Alex Ovechkin cannot be overlooked alongside Carlson as he has 11 goals and eight assists in 16 games. Going down that same path, Sidney Crosby (17 points) will be in the conversation for name recognition alone. 

 Nathan MacKinnion is a candidate as well with 18 points in 14 games for an injury-riddled Avalanche team. 

 Best Bang for Your Buck 

 For my money, the best bet right now is David Pastrnak. He is a great value bet at +1000 and is the main point-getter on a stacked line. Patrice Bergeron is the two-way beast, Marchand is the pest, and Pastrnak is the scorer. 

 Draisaitl should be right there as well. He is the second fiddle to McDavid in the eyes of some, but could be the 2012 Evgeni Malkin to McDavid’s Crosby. 

 Another player with decent value is Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights (+1600) — who has 18 points in 15 games.  

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