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By: Jacob Abenante | Follow me on Twitter @Jacobabenante

Over the past few days, the news has started to trickle in that the 2020/21 NHL season will hopefully start on January 13th. This welcomed news has shifted my thinking onto the best future bets that can be placed before the puck drops to start the season. Today we will focus on the Hart Memorial Trophy given to the NHL’s MVP as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. After going through the odds recently released by oddsshark.com, I have identified my top three bets to win the Hart at their given values. In no order, they are David Pastrnak +2500, Jack Eichel +1500, and the favorite for most sportsbooks Nathan MacKinnon +500. 

A quick refresher if you are new to sports betting or hockey betting in general, the number shown after the plus sign is what you would get as a return if you were to bet $100 on the line indicated. For example, if you were to put $100 on David Pastrnak +2500 to win the Hart Trophy, you would get a return of $2500 if he was to win. Another refresher, you will see me talk about units. Units are whatever you want them to be, and they will be different for every person. One unit should be whatever you are comfortable losing on your average bet. 

David Pastrnak (+2500)

David Pastrnak finished right outside of the final three regarding the Hart voting in the 2019/20 season but still could pick up other hardware, winning his first Rocket Richard Trophy. I feel Pastrnak is primed to return to play this year at the same high level we saw in the past season, if not take his offensive game to even another level. At the price of +2500 and as a Bruins fan Pastrnak, is my clear-cut favorite bet for the Hart. The odds are boosted because Pastrnak most likely will not be healthy to play for the first few weeks of the season. I am fully ready to take advantage of these increased odds, especially after hearing Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy say Pastrnak was on schedule with his recovery. With Pastrnak being listed at +2500, he is worth putting at least a unit on, as he will quickly slot back in on the Bruins’ top line and return to being one of the top offensive threats in the league.  

Jack Eichel (+1500)

North Chelmsford, Massachusetts native Jack Eichel, is one of the most exciting players going into the 2020/21 season. In my opinion, Eichel is one of the top five players in the league but has not had the correct supporting cast around him to truly push for the Hart Trophy. This offseason changes; The Buffalo Sabres made a huge splash this offseason by signing past Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall. I feel this signing will directly affect Eichel by taking some of the weight off his shoulders, allowing him to flourish on both ends of the ice further. I think Buffalo will be a playoff team this season, and that will create an even bigger spotlight on Eichel’s value to his team. At the price of +1500, I feel putting a unit/a unit and half on Eichel would be an excellent bet, for the 2020/21 season will be Eichel’s coming out party as a Hart candidate.   

Nathan MacKinnon (+500)

Nathan MacKinnon currently sits as the favorite for the Hart Trophy going into the 2020/21 season. MacKinnon is a lethal offensive player with lightning-fast speed that can take over a game at a second’s notice. MacKinnon has everything you look for in a Hart candidate, elite talent, elite linemates, and is a leader within his organization. I feel this season could easily be the one Mackinnon takes over as the league’s MVP, and last season’s playoff exit will undoubtedly serve as motivation for this. At the price of +500, MacKinnon is a less risky play than the two previously discussed and, in turn, will pay out much less. I would be comfortable putting two or three units on this line to maximize return.