Will Connor McDavid reclaim the Hart Trophy? Can Igor Shesterkin or Cale Makar repeat? Boardroom explores the NHL player awards odds heading into the 2022-23 season.
The 2022-23 NHL season is technically already underway after the Nashville Predators beat the San Jose Sharks twice in the Global Series in Prague last week. Still, most of the league has to wait until this week to really get things going.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers will battle it out Tuesday in the season-opening game stateside — a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Opening night will then finish with the Vegas Golden Knights traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Kings.
But which players are set to take home this season’s top awards? Let’s dive in.
Hart Memorial Trophy
Given to: The NHL’s Most Valuable Player
Connor McDavid (Oilers): +260
Auston Matthews (Maple Leafs): +420
Leon Draisaitl (Oilers): +600
Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche): +1000
Kirill Kaprizov (Wild): +1200
Toronto’s Auston Matthews is the reigning Hart Trophy recipient after scoring a league-leading 60 goals and assisting on 46 others. His 106 points ranked sixth in the NHL behind a number of other players on the list above, including Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who was the league’s top point man with 123.
Speaking of McDavid, he may currently be the best player in the world, which is likely why he sits as the favorite to reclaim the Hart Trophy this season. The highlight-reel-making center is already a two-time winner of the award at the age of 25, and including last year, he’s won four of the last six Art Ross titles as the NHL’s highest scorer.
One of the players to have taken that title from McDavid in the last six seasons? His own teammate Leon Draisaitl, who boasts the third-best odds to take home this season’s Hart. Playing alongside McDavid perhaps takes away some of his shine, but Draisaitl is coming off a season in which he netted a career-high 55 goals to go with the same number of assists. With the two-headed monster of McDavid and Draisaitl leading the way, the Oilers boast the sixth-best odds to win the Stanley Cup (+1500).
Given to: The NHL’s best goalkeeper
Igor Shesterkin (Rangers): +340
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning): +500
Ilya Sorokin (Islanders): +750
Juuse Saros (Predators): +1000
Thatcher Demko (Canucks): +1600
There hasn’t been a back-to-back winner of the Vezina Trophy since Martin Brodeur did it in 2007 and 2008, but Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin is favored to do just that this season. Shesterkin was pivotal to the Rangers reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last year thanks to his league-leading goals-against average of 2.07 and save percentage of .935. The latter mark ranked third all-time in NHL history (min. 50 games played). His play also earned him a finalist nod for the Hart Trophy.
Though he finished fifth in last year’s voting for this award, it’s not surprising to see Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy with the second-best odds heading into 2022-23. Many view him as one of, if not the, best goaltender of this era — evidenced by his taking home the trophy in 2019.
Nashville’s Juuse Saros is the only other goalie from the list above that was named a Vezina finalist last season. The third — Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom — is just behind the top five with the sixth-best odds at +1800. Meanwhile, if you ask Islanders fans, Ilya Sorokin was robbed of a finalist spot last year. But if his current odds hold throughout the season, he could find himself among the final three by the end of the year.
James Norris Memorial Trophy
Given to: The NHL’s best defenseman
Cale Makar (Avalanche): +155
Victor Hedman (Lightning): +750
Roman Josi (Predators): +750
Adam Fox (Rangers): +850
Aaron Ekblad (Panthers): +1100
Similar to the Vezina, there hasn’t been a back-to-back winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy in over a decade when Nicklas Lidstrom claimed the award from 2006-08. However, Colorado speedster Cale Makar boasts the best odds of all the major award candidates this year. He was the first player in Avalanche history to take home the trophy last season after leading all NHL defensemen with 28 goals. He was second among the same group in points with 86.
Tampa Bay veteran Victor Hedman is no stranger to the award, having won it in 2018 and finding himself a finalist seemingly every year of his career. The third finalist in 2021-22 and 2020 winner Roman Josi has changed the way defensemen play the game. While the position speaks for itself and expects a certain level on the defensive end, Josi’s offensive production — 96 points, including 73 assists — makes him a unique blend among his peers.
Speaking of former winners, Adam Fox is just two seasons removed from taking home the trophy in 2021. While he wasn’t named a finalist last year, him beating out Makar and Hedman two seasons ago is reason enough to not count out the 24-year-old from adding a second to his collection.
Given to: The NHL’s best rookie
Matty Beniers (Kraken): +400
Owen Power (Sabres): +500
Mason McTavish (Ducks): +600
Cole Perfetti (Jets): +1000
Kent Johnson (Blue Jackets): +1200
Rocket Richard Trophy
Given to: The NHL’s top goal scorer
Auston Matthews (Maple Leafs): +230
Leon Draisaitl (Oilers): +450
Alex Ovechkin (Capitals): +1000
Kirill Kaprizov (Wild): +1000
Connor McDavid (Oilers): +1200
Jack Adams Trophy
Given to: The NHL’s best coach
Jared Bednar (Avalanche): +1200
Bruce Cassidy (Golden Knights): +1200
Gerrard Gallant (Rangers): +1200
Derek Lalonde (Red Wings): +1500
Jay Woodcroft (Oilers): +1500
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