Evgeni Malkin has had an electric start to 2018, and is on pace for just about 105 points by the end of the regular season. Vegas has taken full notice, and has given the Penguins star center a higher chance at taking the Hart Trophy, effectively placing him second in the standings to take the NHL MVP award home with him.
Currently, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov is leading the way with a 8/5 chance at the coveted award for best player in the league this year. Malkin sits just behind him now with a 5/2 chance and is projected as the favorite with the shorter odds. He’s got a huge shot at this.
If you’re curious, here’s the rest of the table:
Name/ 2/2/18/ Current Odds (3/1/18)
Nikita Kucherov (TB)/ 13/10 / 8/5
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)/ Off the Board / 5/2
Taylor Hall (NJ)/ Off the Board / 7/2
Alex Ovechkin (WAS)/ 14/1 / 13/2
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)/ 11/1 / 12/1
Nathan MacKinnon (COL)/ 4/1 / 12/1
Connor McDavid (EDM)/ 13/2 / 12/1
Blake Wheeler (WPG)/ 12/1 / 22/1
Sidney Crosby (PIT)/ 16/1 / Off the Board
John Klingberg (DAL)/ 30/1 / Off the Board
John Tavares (NYI)/ 7/1 /Off the Board
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) 19/2 /Off the Board
But that’s not all.
Malkin is also second to Kucherov in both the Art Ross Trophy (NHL points leader) with 7/2 odds and the “Rocket” Richard Trophy (NHL’s top goal scorer) with 2/1 odds, both listed in the “short odds” category as well. Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel are the other star players form Pittsburgh in the Art Ross conversation, but are significantly further down the totem pole.
If Malkin keeps lighting up opposing goaltenders at the rate he’s been, it’ll be hard to count him out. Add a first or second place finish in the Metro and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and expect him to get another significant bump from the folks in Nevada.