Too early to crown an NHL MVP? Never.
The NHL is enjoying a dearth of talent at the moment, which means there are many options for NHL MVP. While nowhere near as popular or as financially mighty as the other 3 of the “four major sports”, the NHL is building a young talent pool that should not be ignored. Professional sports in North America are constantly trying to capture popularity in the competitive landscape by marketing their stars.
The NBA is leading this category by using players as attractions, as opposed to other leagues that use their actual teams to be the driver for keeping their fans loyal. The NHL no doubt has their extremely loyal fans. Fans of the NHL tend to overwhelmingly support their team over the NBA model of “star surfing”.
That does not mean there aren’t star-players in the league that fans of other teams don’t appreciate because they aren’t wearing the sweater of the team they follow.
Current odds on the NHL MVP race
Marketable stars? Check this top 10 list out, courtesy of vegasinsider.com:
- Connor McDavid +110
- Auston Matthews +750
- Nathan MacKinnon +1200
- Jason Robertson +1200
- Leon Draisaitl +1400
- Kirill Kaprizov +1400
- Cale Makar +1800
- Mikko Rantanen +1800
- Nikita Kucherov +1800
- David Pastrnak +2000
David Pastrnak is coming in 10th at +2000. That’s insane.
Last on the list is Trevor Zegras at +20000. It speaks to the amount of amazing players in the NHL at this point. Zegras is one of the most amazing players in the NHL right now. and definitely has a shot at NHL MVP.
So? Who ya got?
Looking at the current list of the NHL’s top scorers, it’s amazing that seven of them are under the age of 30. The only three cracking the top 10 age 30 or older are Jason Robertson, Sidney Crosby and Erik Karlsson. The future of the league is in very good hands.
Leading the way, naturally, is Conor McDavid. The 25-year-old is leading the NHL MVP race with 59 points. Second is his teammate Leon Draisaitl with 51 points. Although the Hart Trophy is the same as most MVP trophies, it shouldn’t discount the fact that “MVP” is an acronym for “MOST VALUABLE Player”.
Having the two leading scores in the league is fine and good. The problem is that when you are 4th in your own division and 15th overall in the league in points, it’s hard to make a case for your value.
My pick is going to be David Pastrnak at +2000. The Bruins currently lead the NHL in points at 47, and are posting an amazing for the Bruins +49 goal differential. Add to the fact that Pastrnak is playing-out his current deal, and looking to make Don Sweeney pay for not giving him the star deal he deserves as a top 10 player in the NHL before the season began; I feel that Pasta is going to keep boiling.
If the Bruins keep up their historic pace and Pastrnak continues to stay healthy and consistent, it’s going to be very difficult to give NHL MVP votes to the two players who always lead the league in scoring, but rarely play to that standard when the playoffs begin. If they even make it.
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