The Bruins surpassed expectations to start the season and remain one of the best teams in the NHL, and that could result in individual accolades for David Pastrnak.
Despite losing its third straight game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, Boston is tied for the best record in the league. Jim Montgomery’s side still has multiple concerns to resolve, but the Bruins showed in their season-opening 10-game unbeaten run they still have the talent to compete for a Stanley Cup following the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 31 points through 21 games, and with Connor McDavid’s early-season injury and Auston Matthews’ slow start, the Boston star became the favorite to win the Hart Trophy on DraftKings Sportsbook at 4-1. New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes has the second-best odds at 5-1, and McDavid is 6-1 to repeat. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov leads the league with 36 points heading into Tuesday’s slate and is 8-1 to win his second Hart Trophy.
The last time a Bruins player won the Hart Trophy was Joe Thornton in the 2005-06 season. Thornton was traded midseason to the San Jose Sharks, and the last full-time Boston player to win the Hart Trophy was Phil Esposito in the 1973-74 season.
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Pastrnak isn’t a consensus favorite with McDavid the favorite on FanDuel at 4-1. The Bruins forward is tied with Hughes at 5-1 at that book, so the 27-year-old needs to increase his production and the Bruins need to maintain first place in the Eastern Conference to boost his case.
Pastrnak has the second-best odds to win the Rocket Richard behind Matthews. But if you took Pastrnak to win the Hart before the season, you would have had better odds, which would have been a more enticing bet than the Rocket Richard.
Boston’s preeminent goal scorer finished second in Hart Trophy voting last season, so voters won’t overlook the three-time All-Star if he comes close to matching his historic production from last season.