This is where the NHL season starts to get interesting, folks. Most teams have played between 13 and 16 games in what has been scheduled as a 56-game regular season, which has allowed for just enough time for the haves to begin to separate themselves from the have-nots. This is a particularly exciting time for bettors, as the futures market is heating up with an eye toward the playoff race and award season. With that in mind, it’s time for CanadianBettingSites to roll through the best NHL player prop bets for 2020-21, including the Hart Trophy for NHL MVP, Art Ross Trophy, Vezina Trophy, and more.
Hart Trophy: 2020-21 NHL MVP
How does 28 points in 16 games sound? It’s been 25 years since a skater was on such a torrid scoring pace — Mario Lemieux, to be exact — so Oilers center Conor McDavid has got to be feeling a bit miffed over the fact that this regular season won’t get a full helping of 82 games. Even so, he’s solidly on track to pick up his second career Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, an accolade he first earned four years ago at the tender age of 20.
But pump the brakes for a minute. Shouldn’t the league’s “most valuable” player be able to lift his team to a better record than nine wins and seven losses through 16 games, barely cracking the top 10 in the league?
That’s why it’s worth looking at the league’s up-to-the-minute top dog, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their inimitable center, Auston Matthews? He leads the league in goals and is in the midst of an absolute tear.
That’s where the value is, full stop.
Pick Auston Matthews (10.00) to win the Hart Trophy in 2021. A $20 bet cashes out for a sensational $200 at Bodog.
Auston Matthews collected an assist to extend his official point streak to nine games (9-3—12) – the longest active run in the NHL.@AM34 is the first @MapleLeafs player in 27 years to collect a point in 12 or more consecutive appearances. #NHLStats #HockeyDay pic.twitter.com/gIFJBzxdUQ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 14, 2021
2021 Art Ross Trophy: NHL Top Scorer
In the race for the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top overall scorer, McDavid is once again the man to beat. The Edmonton star man is first in assists and tied for fourth in goals as of this writing, and perhaps the biggest factor in his favor is that his sternest competition comes from his own teammate, Leon Draisaitl, who notably claimed both Ross and Hart Trophy honors last season.
The smart money is on one of these Oilers claiming the scoring title in 2021. And given how close they are to one another in the race, bettors have every reason to pull the lever for the man who offers the far more enticing payoff by comparison.
Go for Leon Draisaitl (3.50) to repeat as Ross Trophy winner. A $20 wager at Unibet pays out $70.
|Art Ross Trophy: Odds to Win|
Vezina Trophy: 2021 Best Goaltender
Among goalies with at least 10 games under their belt, only Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer has a better GAA than Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tampa Bay’s Big Cat, who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best netminder two seasons ago and hoisted his first Stanley Cup last year, is saving an elite 93% of shots he’s faced, and somehow hasn’t recorded a shutout yet — expect that to change sooner rather than later.
For now, however, Grubauer’s statistical production is superior, and he’s been an absolute brick wall for the Avs with agility to spare.
The odds being what they are, the German is a much more attractive pick than Vasilevskiy. Just for kicks, Colorado lost the one game to date in which Grubauer did not play; the Lighting has not been as fundamentally dependent on Vasi by comparison given the sheer firepower they can rely on in the form of Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Brayden Point.
Go for Philipp Grubauer to win his first Vezina Trophy in 2021. A winning $20 ticket at top sportsbooks promises to redeem for $150.
2020-21 Norris Trophy: Best Defenseman
In the mood for a dark horse? Since it’s still early enough in the season, you’ve got to swing for the fences every once in a while. No offence to current betting favourite Cale Makar, but the Norris Trophy race presents a tremendous opportunity to do it big.
Guys like Shea Theodore, Victor Hedman, and John Carlson are all putting together great campaigns, but where’s the outpouring for Jeff Petry? The Canadiens stalwart currently leads all NHL defensemen in points, he’s third in plus/minus, and is one of the least penalized in the league at his position. He’s perfectly simpatico playing alongside Joel Edmundson, helping to propel the Habs to the third-best goal differential in the league.
There’s a ton of value in this 33-year-old Michigander. Get it while it’s hot!
Give a long, hard look to Jeff Petry to win the James Norris Memorial Trophy. A $20 bet cashes out for a dazzling $300 at top sportsbooks.
No longer begrudging every mistake, Jeff Petry is defying the NHL's aging curve in his 12th season.
Some advice from an old coach, as well as a prominent ex-major leaguer, have helped the vet turn in a Norris-worthy season so far.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 9, 2021
Calder Trophy: 2021 NHL Rookie of the Year
So, how about the young guys? A host of wingers are making their mark in their debut NHL seasons, but right here and right now, none have impressed like Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov. He leads all NHL rookies in both total points and points per game, and though the Wild have seen their season descend into a slog due to COVID-19 postponements, the pride of Novokuznetsk has been a consistent bright spot.
There’s dark horse value in the Tim Stuetzles and Nils Hoglanders of the world, but there’s simply no reason to assume that Kaprizov won’t keep chugging along — and getting even better in the process.
Take Kirill Kaprizov to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie of 2020-21. A $20 wager at top sportsbooks pays out $54.