Second Half Picks: Who Is the Favorite to Win NHL MVP?

Favorite to Win NHL MVP image

📖 Published on: February 15th, 2024

✍️ Updated: February 27th, 2024

⏳ 10 mins read


As the chaos of the blazing 2023-24 NHL season continues to bring the intense games that fans have been looking for all-year long. It seems that there are a lot of great expectations in the current campaign as teams take on the task of making a push to the playoffs now more than ever. But who has been the hero of the top teams who continues to deliver promising performances?


The Hart Memorial Trophy is given to the Most Valuable Player in the NHL in the regular season. It is one of the biggest feats that any player can achieve, and it recognizes the greatness that a player brings to their team. Since its inception in the 1923-24 season, the Hart Trophy has been awarded a total of 99 times to 61 different players in the league.


Who Won the Most MVPs in NHL History?


NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, who played for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers have won the MVP award nine times in at different points in his career, including eight straight years from 1980 to 1987, where he delivered top-notch performances in the league and helped the Oilers win three of their five Stanley Cups in that stretch.


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He is also one of the only two players to win the MVP award via unanimous voting back in the 1981-82 season. The only other player to have that feat was Connor McDavid back in the 2020-21 season. This says a lot about the tight contention in the MVP race every single season, and there’s no denying that this year’s race is also going down to the wire with the campaign really seeing a lot of impressive performances from various players.


Who Are the Top Picks to Win the NHL MVP This Season?


The 2023-24 NHL season offers a lot of options when it comes to the MVP candidates this year. There are a lot of intense games and tight finishes in almost every game, and the best stars have always shown their worth by putting up impressive performances when they were needed most. This has just made the MVP race harder to look at as the candidates kept showing off what they can bring to the big stage.


With the season at hand, it seems that the MVP race is slated to continue raging on with top-tier performances from the candidates. Still, there are a lot of games to go on in the current campaign, and it seems that there is more to expect from the top players as they continue to build their case for the MVP race now more than ever.


Here are the top five picks to win the NHL MVP award this season:


Nathan MacKinnon


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The blazing campaign of the Colorado Avalanche can be credited to the high-level performance of Nathan MacKinnon this season. Standing at the upper echelon of the Western Conference, the Avalanche have swooped in like a raging snowstorm in the competition as they continued to deliver a promising campaign under MacKinnon’s lead. He has been quite spectacular with the way they have won games down the stretch.


This season, MacKinnon has scored 32 goals and 55 assists for 87 points as of the time of writing. He is also a +15 in plus-minus in the current campaign.


It seems that he is still on pace to score more points as the Avalanche continue to rely on him to lead the way for them to keep climbing in the standings. Who knows, they may even reach the top seed in the West by the end of the season.


Nikita Kucherov


The Tampa Bay Lightning are struggling to pick up the pieces of what’s left in their squad this season, but Nikita Kucherov has done a great job to steer the team to a winning pace in a very tight Eastern Conference. So far, the right winger has made every right decision in most of their games and has led to an uneasy pace. That includes a strong performance at home, which rivals the records of the top five in the Eastern Conference.


Kucherov has tallied 90 points off 34 goals and 56 assists in just 53 games. It has been quite a ride for the star as he is continuously stepping up to deliver a promising push for the Lightning.


Nikita Kucherov image


They still have the former shades of an NHL champion, and Kucherov shaping up to be a strong MVP candidate says a lot about how he’s able to keep them afloat in the playoff chase.


Connor McDavid


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The NHL’s reigning MVP has done a great job to continue feeding his teammates – especially Leon Draisaitl with impressive dishes that have led to great victories down the stretch. Still, the Edmonton Oilers have yet to make a deeper climb in the Western Conference but have managed to stay on the prowl considering how tight the standings have been for months now. Thanks to Connor McDavid’s power plays, it has been quite a spectacle and has really helped their chances so far.


So far, McDavid has only managed to score 77 points off 21 goals and 56 massive assists in just 47 games.


It has been a fantastic ride for the Oilers as they continue to rely on their dynamic duo to help them score a promising set of wins down the stretch. The Oilers’ impressive wins have been mostly thanks to his impressive performances, and McDavid just continues to get better and better at this point.


Auston Matthews


Goal headhunter Auston Matthews has been quite the beast this season with his 42 goals, bringing the Toronto Maple Leafs to a climb in the playoff chase at the seventh spot. However, it seems that the team has a strong need of bringing him the puck up on the offensive side as they have to feed him the plays whenever he goes up the high line. His value on the attack has boosted the Maple Leafs’ hopes of a playoff run, and he is doing it well.


This season, Matthews has tallied 63 points in just 50 games, thanks to that 42 goals and a combo of 21 assists as well. What makes it better is that he is also a +17 in the season, showing how much of a positive impact he is giving for the Maple Leafs’ campaign.


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That says a lot about his case as an MVP candidate, and it should really be a solid one come crunch time in the season where the team finally manages to lock in a playoff spot.


David Pastrnak


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There is no argument that the best player on the best team in the NHL right now deserves a chance to win the MVP award as well. It is quite easy to say that the Boston Bruins already has a stacked team, but you have to consider the effort and the big numbers that Pastrnak delivers for the team as they continue to grind their way to keep hold of the Eastern Conference’s top spot.


The value of Pastrnak cannot be underestimated especially at this point in the season. In just 53 games, the star winger has scored 77 points coming off a very balanced game of 33 goals and 44 assists.


His impressive two-way game has allowed the Bruins to thrive on the big stage, gathering the best wins they could one game after another. No one can deny that he deserves to be the MVP, and his case is definitely a strong one with the Bruins cruising through the NHL right now.


Who Will Win the NHL MVP This Season?


It is hard to argue with all the strong cases that the top favorites present so far. It should also be taken into account that the MVP makes the rest of his team better, and the one with the biggest impact means proving his worth not just as an award candidate, but a leader who can help his team in the best way possible.


We have seen the season take some shifts and turns between the best teams in the league while the top players also continue to thrive on the big stage. But the MVP is a daunting award that is not given out so easily, and you can try to make a guess to bet on the top five picks that GambleSpot has for you. Take your time to research and make the most out of your NHL wagers today!


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