2021 NHL FUTURES: Part I: Player Trophies

Jake Becker
Betting Analyst - NHL/Horses

“Scared money don’t make money”

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The 2021 NHL season is only a few weeks away, which means it’s time to start diving into the futures market. In today’s piece, I’m gonna give my favorite bet for each player award. There’s some great value deep on the board, so I’ll include a longshot for each category as well.

ART ROSS TROPHY:

2020 Winner: Leon Draisaitl

The Art Ross Trophy is awarded to the player that leads the NHL in points at the end of the regular season.

My Pick: Connor McDavid (+275)

Photo By The Athletic

I’m starting the article off with a chalk pick. I know, boring right? Well when this cashes in May it won’t be so boring. Listen, Connor McDavid has won this trophy twice in his young NHL career, and as long as health isn’t a factor, he should win it again. The duo of McDavid and Draisaitl is the most lethal in the league, as we saw finally come into fruition last year. This isn’t a knock on Draisaitl, but Connor is just a better all around player, and point machine on the power play. I expect a slight regression for Leon’s point total, but I don’t see McJesus having a down year. Take the chalk, and let’s move on.

Longshot Pick: Jack Eichel (+2500)

CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY:

2020 Winner: Cale Makar

The Calder Memorial trophy is awarded to the best rookie in the NHL.

My Pick: Igor Shesterkin (+250)

Photo By The Athletic

This looks like a two horse race between Shesterkin and Alexis Lafreniere, but I’m going with the goalie over the skilled skater. Igor Shesterkin’s role has complete clarity — he’s expected to step in and be the Rangers top netminder this season. His opportunity has no question, it’s just what he makes of it. I like going for goalies in this award, because we know they will face pucks coming their way, so it’s just a matter of how they perform. There’s no “luck” to it, or dependency upon their linemates. The Rangers defense isn’t anything extraordinary, but it’s enough to avoid leaving Shesterkin out to dry. Shesterkin also already has an advantage, as he saw the ice last year for New York.

Longshot Pick: Nicholas Robertson (+3500)

HART MEMORIAL TROPHY:

2020 Winner: Leon Draisaitl

The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the NHL’s most valuable player.

My Pick: Brayden Point (+1200)

Photo By The Athletic

I don’t want to keep giving chalk picks, so I’m gonna look a little further down the board for the NHL’s MVP. The name that pops out to me is Brayden Point. Point’s playoff performance in the bubble was one of the most impressive postseason performances I have ever seen. I truly think he has what it takes to make the leap to being a top five player in the league this season. Tampa Bay will be missing a key part of their offense, as Nikita Kucherov was ruled out for the regular season. This provides a bigger opportunity for Point to step up and be the Bolts’ leading scorer this year. Tampa will dominate their weak division this year, and I expect Brayden Point to carry the torch for them this season.

Longshot Pick: Sidney Crosby (+2000)

JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY:

2020 Winner: Roman Josi

The Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded to the NHL’s best defenseman.

My Pick: Miro Heiskanen (+1200)

Photo By The Athletic

Similar to Brayden Point, Miro Heiskanen also impressed me significantly in the playoffs last season. He helped carry the Dallas Stars to the Stanley Cup Finals. This young defenseman has the offensive skills to lead defenseman in scoring. Some may think he is still a year or two too young, but getting him at 12/1 is something I can’t personally pass up. Dallas wasn’t the most successful team on offense last season, but I expect that to change this year. Heiskanen had 26 points in 27 games last postseason. Assuming the Stars offense improves this year, don’t be shocked when Heiskanen is a finalist for the Norris.

Longshot Pick: Morgan Reilly (+2000)

VEZINA TROPHY:

2020 Winner: Connor Hellebuyck

The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the NHL’s best goalie.

My Pick: Carter Hart (+1400)

Photo By The Athletic

The Philadelphia Flyers are in a gauntlet of a division, so Carter Hart will have his hands full with talented offenses coming his way. I don’t think there’s any dispute that this young netminder will be one of the top goalies in the NHL, it’s more of a question of how soon it can happen. For me, I’ll take a shot at it this year. Last year, Carter Hart posted a record of 24-13-3 with a GAA of 2.42 and a SV % of .914. Meanwhile, Connor Hellebuyck posted a record of 31-21-5 with a GAA of 2.57 and a SV % of .922. Hart will have a great record because he has a better team around him, but if he shows improvement in both his GAA and SV %, he will be right in the discussion at the end of the season.

Longshot Pick: Tristan Jerry (+3300)

Keep an eye out for my next article featuring NHL future bets! We’ll be taking a look at season point total bets for both the Western & Eastern Conference.