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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New Jersey Devils
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86): Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning
Odds: 30/1

This one is a little surprising because Nikita Kucherov hasn’t had the same hype he did in previous years, but Nikita Kucherov is still one of the best players in the National Hockey League. He’s third in the league with 62 points. By pure points, this has him so high in the MVP race.

This isn’t to say that Kuch doesn’t deserve to be in the race, but it’s still surprising to see him this high without the hype. A lot has to do with the Tampa Bay Lightning having been here so often. We’ve heard Kucherov’s name so much that one would think it’s time to hear other names at this point in the season. At least when it comes to MVP.

Kucherov was close to the unanimous choice for MVP back in 2019. It wouldn’t be anything close to unanimous if Kucherov eventually won. There are just too many candidates.

When comparing Kucherov’s season to Hughes, the advanced stats favor Hughes. Hughes has more individual high-danger chances at 5v5, more takeaways, fewer giveaways, and he’s dominating at even strength while Kucherov is doing most of his damage on the power play. His even-strength play should propel Hughes past Kucherov eventually. Hughes is actually beating Kuch in both goals and points at 5v5 despite being down by eight when considering all strengths.