Pucks Away: The Top Contenders for the 2023-24 Art Ross Trophy

Top Contenders for the 2023-24 Art Ross Trophy image

📖 Published on: February 23rd, 2024

✍️ Updated: February 27th, 2024

⏳ 10 mins read

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Let’s be clear, scoring is definitely an easy matter with the way games played night in and night out for the most elite players in the NHL. There are plenty of massive battles and showdowns night in and night out, and the stars are brightly shining with their hopes of winning in the Art Ross Trophy.

 

With the season still in full swing and the playoffs coming in hot, it seems that the race for the Art Ross Trophy will be a promising battle to watch. So far, this season has featured five possible contenders who are making waves in their campaign right now, each with a strong chance to actually make it to the top.

 

Who is the Defending Scoring Champion?

 

Connor McDavid image

 

Connor McDavid, the reigning MVP, is also the defending scoring champion in the NHL. He has won the Art Ross Trophy five times, including the last three seasons. He has managed to amass a total of 100, 108, 105, 123, and 153 wins in those winning campaigns. McDavid is arguably considered one of the best scorers in the history of the game, and it goes without saying that he is still a candidate for this year’s Art Ross Trophy race. That proves how much of a bonafide scorer he is and how he has managed to keep his scoring pace.

The Edmonton Oilers had the scoring title reside in them in six of the last seven years, which says a lot about how their scoring stars have managed to shine bright.

 

Five of those came from McDavid, while Leon Draisaitl took home the title back in 2019-20. McDavid’s impressive contribution has steered him to the top of the scoring for years, and that’s made him an icon in the Art Ross Trophy race.

 

Who are the Top Contenders for the 2023-24 Art Ross Trophy?

 

The Art Ross Trophy brings in the combined total points from goals and assists in a single season. Top performers for the 2023-24 season have been promising to watch, and there have been a lot of impressive highlights for the past few months. This just means that there is still more to expect with more games coming in hot as the second half of the campaign rages on.

 

Here are the top contenders you should look out for in the race for the Art Ross Trophy this year:

 

Nikita Kucherov

 

Nikita Kucherov image

 

As the Tampa Bay Lightning continues to strike, Nikita Kucherov’s value has been seen more and more with each victory for the team. This just proves how much he’s been impeccable when it comes to putting up points night in and night out, and he has made his teammates involved with his big assists while also finding his way with the puck with high intensity. So far, he is expected to reach the 120-point mark with the way he plays for the Avalanche and leads the league with more than 240 completed slot passes.

His unparalleled speed and craftiness in coming up with fantastic assists has been special, making his case for the scoring trophy more alive than ever.

 

While Tampa Bay isn’t the leading team in the NHL, it is worth noting that Kucherov’s sustained performances and the ever-growing offensive unit for the Lightning is going to play a huge role not just on their climb to the top, but also in Kucherov’s chances of winning the Art Ross Trophy by the end of the season.

 

Nathan MacKinnon

 

The ace of the Colorado Avalanche has been special this season as well. He’s leading them into a deep charge in the standings right now while also putting up a strong scoring performance of his own. This has been the story for the Avalanche so far, and they are doing a great job of finding ways to score and produce for his team, with a focus in playmaking. Let’s not forget that he’s also a deadeye when it comes to scoring goals of his own.

His game is similar to Kucherov, and they are both drawing a lot of defenders whenever they slide near the box.

The only difference is that MacKinnon is doing his best with a strong plus-minus so far, and this is why he is a favorite to win the scoring title thus far.

 

Nathan MacKinnon image

 

MacKinnon also leads the league with more than 930 offense-generating plays and end-to-end rushes, which shows how his offensive value stands out.

 

Connor McDavid

 

Connor McDavid team image

 

As the reigning MVP, there is no denying that McDavid is also the top pick to win the Art Ross Trophy. Sure, the Edmonton Oilers are not yet climbing high in the Western Conference, but then his impressive performances have made sure that he will stay relevant in the race for the scoring title. The path to the top spot isn’t that impossible for McDavid to climb with his consistent pace now, and it does seem that he can still make it back to the top.

McDavid’s consistent passing and impressive playmaking has allowed Draisaitl to generate a lot of goals as well, which has helped his case well for the Art Ross Trophy.

 

Should he be able to win the Art Ross Trophy this year, he will be the fifth in NHL history to lead the league in scoring for four years in a row, which should also improve his case for the MVP. After winning the scoring title with a record 153 points last season, he is showing that he can follow it up with another title win.

 

David Pastrnak

 

Being the best player on the best team in the league means you have to score big numbers as well. For David Pastrnak’s case, he has the best players around him, and that means a lighter scoring load, and yet he is doing all he can to make sure that the Boston Bruins stay perched at the top of the Eastern Conference. His two-way game has made him so valuable on the rink, and this makes him an instant MVP favorite as well.

The star winger has done a great job to make sure that he delivers on his tasks on a nightly basis, and it does prove a lot about his exceptional performances this season. Still, he has a long way to go if he wants to chase and join a legitimate conversation for the Art Ross Trophy this season.

 

David Pastrnak image

 

Artemi Panarin

 

Artemi Panarin image

 

The undrafted chronicles of Artemi Panarin has panned out to be a promising story, and his campaign for the MVP has suddenly gained some traction as well. Still, Panarin’s push for the Art Ross Trophy needs a little bit of life as he’s been somewhat mid among the top candidates for the award. Still, nothing is impossible as there are a lot of games left to play, and the New York Rangers will need everything he can offer on the table if they want to win.

Panarin has scored more than 90 points in his last two seasons with the Rangers. He is on the pace to reach 100 points by the end of the season, which just proves his case for the Art Ross Trophy.

 

He does need to take his scoring up a notch, but the star isn’t pressured to win individual feats as the Rangers take its focus on the next big thing – the Stanley Cup.

 

Who Will Win the Art Ross Trophy?

 

While the MVP race is hard to predict, the Art Ross Trophy waits for no votes from the media or anyone – only the end of the season. GambleSpot loves a comeback story like no other, and Connor McDavid is definitely a great pick to consider in the scoring title. Still, it is hard to underestimate the performances of Kucherov and MacKinnon at this point in the season, which just shows how tight of a race this can be if the three of them get close on top of each other in the final stretch.

 

As the race to the Art Ross Trophy tightens, you can only hope that these players will continue to bring unwavering performances to put up the biggest numbers they can in helping their teams win. The scoring title is just a bonus, because at the end of the day, the goal is to win big in the playoffs. Make sure to stay updated on the NHL with GambleSpot!

 

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