Boston Bruins right winger David Pastrnak leads the NHL in goals and is the leading scorer on the team with the league's best record.
Pastrnak's 95 points (48 goals, 47 assists) are the third-most in the league entering Wednesday and one behind Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid in second place. His line, which also includes Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, has scored a goal in 61 of the Bruins' 70 games played. It's extremely difficult to overstate this trio's importance to the Bruins, and Pastrnak is the offensive engine of that line.
Now, you'd think a player in that kind of position would be the favorite for the Hart Trophy or at least one of the top three favorites, right? Well, not according to the latest betting lines at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Pastrnak is fourth on the latest odds at +700. Check out the top five in the tweet below:
Leon Draisaitl has a strong lead for the Hart Trophy with 12 games remaining 🏒 pic.twitter.com/VGsXYbfen7— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) March 11, 2020
Oilers center Leon Draisaitl leads the league with 110 points and has done a tremendous job keeping his team in a playoff spot with McDavid out of the lineup due to injury. He's the clear favorite to win the award. Artemi Panarin is fourth in scoring with 94 points for a New York Rangers team making a surprising push for a wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers are 11-5 in their last 16 games, and Panarin has tallied 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) over that span. He's heating up at the perfect time as voters begin to devote more attention to the Hart race. Nathan MacKinnon ranks fifth in scoring with 93 points for a Colorado Avalanche squad that's been near the top of the Western Conference standings throughout the season.
In summary, it's a really competitive race after Draisaitl in regards to which players will be named finalists for the award. All five of the players in the tweet above have strong cases to be invited to the NHL Awards ceremony in June, but only three can be finalists. Pastrnak should be a finalist because he's having an incredible season on the league's best team. The individual stats combined with team success should put him over the top, but there are still 12 games remaining and a lot can change over that time.