New Jersey Devils: Comparing Jack Hughes To Other Hart Trophy Candidates

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Jack Hughes has been the New Jersey Devils best player by a large margin. He’s even getting hyped as one of the best players in the league. How does he compare with other Hart Trophy candidates?

The New Jersey Devils are giving fans the season we’ve been waiting for during this longer-than-expected rebuild. When the Devils took Jack Hughes with the first-overall pick, many thought they could compete with him instantly. Now, three full seasons later, the Devils are finally where many expected them to be years ago. It’s thanks to Jack Hughes that the Devils find themselves in second place in a very competitive Metropolitan Division on January 15th.

Hughes has been carrying the Devils offensively. He has 54 points, 11 more than Jesper Bratt, who’s second on the team, and 28 goals, nine more than Nico Hischier, who’s second on the team. The Devils are getting more offense than they’ve seen in a long time, and Hughes is still leaps and bounds higher than everyone. He’s on pace to break every Devils offensive record.

With all that, Hughes is getting Hart Trophy hype. However, that hasn’t turned into better odds. According to Wynn Bet, Hughes is still 60/1 to win the Hart, tied for 13th in the league with names like Aleksander Barkov, Alexander Ovechkin, and Igor Shesterkin. That’s still very low for what Hughes has been doing. Let’s see how Hughes compares with the top five players in Hart Trophy odds.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

New Jersey Devils
Buffalo Sabres right wing Tage Thompson (72): Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

Tage Thompson – Buffalo Sabres
Odds: 30/1

Tage Thompson has been stealing headlines all season, but this seems like a little much. 30/1 is still a huge longshot (and you’ll see why in a moment), but for Thompson to have twice the chance as Hughes to win the Hart Trophy? That seems preposterous.

The Buffalo Sabres have been better this season, but they are far behind the Devils. The Sabres are five points outside the final playoff spot with three games at hand to the New York Islanders. They do get to add some easier wins against the likes of the bottom of the Atlantic Division, so they could make a play. However, when comparing Hughes to Thompson, the stats tell an interesting story.

Hughes is trailing Thompson by three goals and four points. Thompson deserves to be where he’s at, but with the Sabres out of the playoff race for now, it would be hard to see him winning the Hart, especially with someone with a similar profile like Hughes. It will be a fun race to the finish if it somehow comes down to these two (barring an injury to number one on this list).