Check out our picks for who will win NHL Defenseman of the Year, Goalie of the Year and MVP.
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The 2021 NHL regular season is just about dunzo, which means that everyone who's anyone will shift their attention to the Stanley Cup postseason race. However, we do have some unfinished business that needs tending to first: Regular season NHL futures award picks heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Though Defenseman of the Year (Norris Trophy) and Goalie of the Year (Vezina Trophy) are on our radar, let's first take a look at the NHL MVP betting odds. Please note these lines come via Bovada as of the beginning of May, and they should be rechecked in case they have since shifted:
Because we're so late in the game, with the Stanley Cup playoffs just around the corner, there's a chance these NHL odds could be pulled from the table. If that happens, you're free to surf other trusted sportsbooks, like BetOnline or BetNow in hopes they'll have updated NHL MVP lines.
2021 NHL Awards Betting Breakdown
We will begin with our NHL MVP pick and then deliver our selection for Defenseman of the Year and Goalie of the Year. If you're looking for NHL Rookie of the Year picks, we already dropped those here.
NHL MVP Pick
Drama is always good to have toward the tail end of NHL MVP races. Unfortunately, this field turned into a runaway long ago.
Conor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is going to win.
Sure, you're free to roll the dice on Nathan MacKinnon or Auston Matthews, two of the most intriguing dark horses. There was even a point in the season when Matthews looked like he should be a quasi-favorite. But that ship has sailed.
While Matthews leads the NHL in total goals, McDavid paces the league in total points by a comically, cosmically wide margin. He has 104 points on the season. Second place, which belongs to his teammate Leon Draisaitl, has 83. That 21-point disparity is equal to the chasm separating second place from ninth place.
It isn't quite clear whether McDavid's victory will be unanimous. Some might penalize him because Draisaitl has the higher season-long plus-minus. Make no mistake, though, McDavid will take the Hart Trophy home in a landslide.
OSB Prediction: Conor McDavid (-200)
NHL Defenseman of the Year Pick
Check out the odds on who will win the 2021 NHL Norris Trophy:
Quantifying defense at the NHL level is incredibly difficult for non-goalies. And yet, that's what we're doing here. It's why there is very rarely a heavy consensus.
Oddsmakers have pegged Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning as the fairly heavy favorite for a couple of months now. His case is pretty airtight. He is still the best in the league when it comes to reading shots from the opposing offense. He also gets a ton of deflections and takes much-needed pressure off his goalies.
Still, others might be compelled to go a different direction. Darnell Nurse looms as an interesting longer shot. He doesn't have the same possession-by-possession impact, but he leads the league in defensive point shares. Voters may also naturally gravitate toward Charlie McAvoy for the relentless pressure he puts on shot-takers for the Boston Bruins, and for his +1000 line.
Our inclination is to still go with Hedman. The 2018 Norris Trophy winner is the most important non-goalie stopper for one of the league's stingiest defenses. In the event you don't wager on him, your pick should probably be McAvoy.
OSB Pick: Victor Hedman (-145)
NHL Goalie of the Year
Check out the odds on who will win the 2021 NHL Vezina Trophy:
Andrei Vasilevskiy has yet to look back from the midseason lead that he grabbed. His play between the posts for the Tampa Bay Lightning has been spectacular. He has a save percentage of 92.5 and authored five shutouts, tying him for the fourth-most zero-goal games in the league.
It's a little weird that oddsmakers have portrayed as a pretty certain lock this late into the season. The Lightning is fantastic on the defensive end but owes a bunch of credit to Victor Hedman, our Defenseman of the Year pick. His success could convince some voters that Vasilevsky isn't as valuable.
That shouldn't be the downfall of his case. Marc-Andre Fleury might be.
Many people will point out he's appeared in just 36 games. Whatever. He's been categorically dominant in those contests.
Fleury is stopping 92.8 percent of the shots that come his way, the second-best mark in the league among all goalies who have played at least 30 games. He has also overseen six shutouts, the third-most in the NHL, despite missing roughly half the season.
This is by no means a sure thing. But we're weighting the quality of Fleury's play over his smaller sample size.
OSB Pick: Marc-Andre Fleury (+225)
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