- Connor McDavid is going for his third straight Art Ross crown.
- In 2018-19, Nikita Kucherov was the last non-Edmonton player to win the award.
- Auston Matthews is looking for his first Art Ross Trophy.
Connor McDavid is looking for his third consecutive Art Ross Trophy, while Auston Matthews hopes to win his first and halt the Oilers’ dominance.
NHL betting odds have Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, the winners in three previous seasons, as +650 joint-second favorites to win the 2022-23 Art Ross Trophy.
Matthews is the early favorite (+200), and Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor is the fifth favorite (+1200). Alexander Ovechkin nestles into the top five as the fourth favorite (+900).
Nikita Kucherov, who won the Art Ross in 2018-19, was the last non-Edmonton player to secure the scoring title. The Lightning phenomenon didn’t permeate the top-10 favorite list and is pegged as the 13th favorite at +3000, one of three non-favorites offering exceptional value.
5 Favorites To Win the Art Ross
5. Kyle Connor (+1200)
It’s somewhat surprising to see Connor’s name among the five favorites to win the 2022-23 Art Trophy. Purely based on goals, the Jets forward had a stellar 2021-22 season, scoring 47 in 79 games, the joint-fifth most.
However, his 93 points placed him as the league’s 13th-best scorer, not exactly Art Ross credentials.
His 1.18 points per game are the second lowest average output of the five favorites. Only Ovechkin, who scored 1.17 points per game, was less proficient. However, everyone knows that Ovechkin can produce at a more prolific rate. The same cannot be said for Connor, whose 1.18 points per game output was the highest of his career.
Connor also plays for a mediocre Jets team, who managed a middling 250 goals. Sixteen teams scored more goals than Winnipeg. Avoid backing Connor as e too many highly talented offensive players take precedence.
4. Alex Ovechkin (+900)
While Ovechkin can put up monstrous offensive numbers, the Art Ross Trophy is probably no longer in reach for the 36-year-old.
The Great 8 notched 90 points in 77 games and had his best offensive season since 2009-10. Obviously, age had no impact on his proficiency.
Even so, it’s hard to state a convincing case for him to win the 2022-23 Art Ross. Every Art Ross winner since 2015-16 scored at least 100 points; a plateau Ovechkin hasn’t eclipsed since the 2009-10 season.
McDavid’s 100 points in 2016-17 were the lowest total in the aforementioned time frame. The last player to win the Art Ross with a sub-100 point season was Jamie Benn, who accomplished the feat with 87 points in 2014-15. The Blackhawks have a better chance of winning the Cup than seeing another Art Ross winner with such a low point total.
The Caps legend has a decisively better chance of winning the Rocket Richard than he does the Art Ross.
3. Connor McDavid (+650)
McDavid is the defending back-to-back Art Ross Trophy winner and has taken four of the last six scoring titles. The most dominant offensive player of a generation has four scoring titles, the most of any active player.
He won the 2021-22 Art Ross Trophy with 123 points, eight more than Jonathan Huberdeau and Johnny Gaudreau. McDavid scored 1.54 points per game, the most of any Art Ross winner since Nikita Kucherov notched 1.56 points per game in 2018-19.
Aside from Kucherov’s prodigious 2018-19 season, McDavid’s 123 points were the highest single-season tally since Joe Thornton scored 125 in 2005-06. Despite what the NHL odds suggest, McDavid is the lead offensive gun, the man you should back to win the Art Ross Trophy.
He offers exquisite value at +650, a line that will shorten as the season nears.
2. Leon Draisaitl (+650)
Draisaitl, another former Art Ross winner, fires in lockstep with linemate McDavid. Both are guaranteed buckets of points. The formidable duo combines brilliantly, making life miserable for opposing teams. It’s all about containment and mitigating the damage when Draisatil and McDavid are on the ice together.
Draisaitl won the Art Ross in 2019-20, the same season he was named the Hart Trophy recipient. While there’s no diminishing his distinguished 2019-20 accomplishments, Draisaitl’s chances of winning the two coveted individual honors received a massive boost when McDavid injured his quad, which limited him to 64 games.
Draisaitl scored 110 points last season, the same career-high from his Art Trophy-winning campaign. Discounting the abbreviated 2020-21 campaign, Draisaitl has scored at least 105 points in three successive seasons.
I’m sure by now Draisaitl is used to playing second fiddle in Edmonton, a trend that will continue in 2022-23.
1. Auston Matthews (+200)
Auston Matthews won the 2021-22 Rocket Richard Trophy, scoring 60 goals in 73 games. He became the first player to score 50 goals in a 50-game span since Mario Lemieux achieved the feat in 1995-96.
Matthews had 46 assists, giving him 106 points. He scored 1.45 points per game, the second most of the five favorites. The 2021-22 season marked a career-best in goals, points, assists, and overall productivity. His previous best, 1.27 points per game, came in the abbreviated 2020-21 campaign.
He plays for the Maple Leafs, the second most prolific offensive team during the 2021-22 season, thanks to Matthews’ contribution.
While you can’t go wrong picking the 2021-22 Hart Trophy winner to secure his first Art Ross Trophy, McDavid still represents the better play.