Hang in there, NHL hockey fans. We’ve still got a ways to go before the 2022-23 NHL season begins. In the meantime, get an early preview of how things are shaping up via the NHL trophy odds. There are dozens of NHL hardware awarded each season but we (mostly) only care about four beginning with who is going to win the Hart Memorial Trophy, a.k.a. the MVP:
Hart: Who is the Real MVP?
The Hart Memorial Trophy is the NHL’s most prestigious individual award. Almost every all-time great has won this award and Connor McDavid (+275), a two-time winner, is favored per the NHL trophy odds. He finished second last season to Auston Matthews (+425), who is now the runner-up per the odds this time. McDavid’s teammate, Leon Draisaitl (+850), is third. He won the award in 2020 thanks partially to McDavid getting hurt.
Other contenders worth noting are Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (+1000) and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov (+2000). MacKinnon has been a frequent finalist for the award while Kucherov won in 2019. Both are worth betting on NHL board… if they can find a way to match the scoring of the first three.
Norris: The Best D-Men
The NHL honors the men of the blueline with its own award. Cale Makar (+200), last season’s winner, is favored to repeat per the NHL trophy odds. If he wins, he’ll be the first defenseman since Nicklas Lidstrom in 2007 and 2008 to win consecutive Norris trophies. He’s got stiff competition as Roman Josi (+650), last year’s runner-up and the 2020 winner, is still in his prime.
Recent winners like Victor Hedman (+800) and Adam Fox (+1200) are in the top five of the Norris Trophy odds board. Charlie McAvoy (+800) of Boston has yet to win the award or even be a finalist. The last seven winners were first-time winners. If this trend continues, McAvoy could be a sneakily good bet.
Vezina: One of the Goalies’ Main Goals
Like the Norris Trophy odds, this year’s favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender is last year’s winner: Igor Shesterkin (+250). The Ranger is facing compatriots Andrei Vasilevskiy (+450) and Ilya Sorokin (+800) for this honor. Like the other trophies, winning consecutive Vezinas is a difficult task. Martin Brodeur is the last player to win two straight Vezinas back in 2007 and 2008.
Ten of the last 11 Vezina winners were first-timers. Sergei Bobrovsky (+3000) is the only player to win the Vezina twice in this span. He’s a long shot per the current NHL trophy odds. Connor Hellebuyck (+2200), Carey Price (+300), and Marc-Andre Fleury (+3000) all have long odds as previous winners alongside Vasilevskiy.
The Presidents’ Trophy Curse: What Gives?
The first three awards here are individual awards. But the Presidents’ Trophy is an award given to the NHL team with the most points in the regular season. While this is prestigious, winning the Presidents’ Trophy has often led to playoff failure – the last nine winners have not won the Stanley Cup. In fact, eight of these teams did not even reach the Conference Finals. It’s such a trend that it’s considered a “curse” to finish the regular season as the best team.
Currently, the NHL odds have the Colorado Avalanche (+225) as the favorite. The Avalanche won the President’s Trophy during the NHL’s bubble season in 2021. Last year’s winner, the Florida Panthers are third at +650. Florida made a splash by trading away top point-scorer Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar for the Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk.
Calgary (+2200) had a strong season in 2021-22 but has re-tooled after Tkachuk’s and Johnny Gaudreau’s departures. Their archrival, Edmonton (+1000) is at sixth while Toronto (+500) is just behind Colorado with the best shot at winning the Presidents’ Trophy.
Tampa Bay (+850) sit at fourth after another offseason where they lost a key contributor in Ondrej Palat. The Lightning won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2019 then got swept by Columbus in the first round of the playoffs.
Will this year’s winner finally break this trend? It’s worth paying attention to the NHL’s off-season calendar as the top contenders continue to prepare for the upcoming season.Follow us on Twitter