Most NHL teams have hit the halfway point of the 2021-22 NHL schedule. With the season beginning to wind down, it’s a perfect time to examine the scoring race for the 2021-22 NHL season. The player who finishes the NHL regular season with the lead in scoring takes home the Art Ross Trophy.
The award is named for Art Ross, who was the longtime manager of the Boston Bruins. He presented the trophy to the NHL in 1947. The first player to win the award was Elmer Lach of the Montreal Canadiens in 1948. No player has won the Art Ross more than Wayne Gretzky. “The Great One” took home the Ross 10 times. Gretzky won the award seven years in a row from 1981-87. Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux are tied for second in Art Ross Trophies with six each.
Of the players in the running for the 2021-22 Art Ross Trophy, three have won the award in the past – Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Alexander Ovechkin. The two other top candidates, Jonathan Huberdeau and Steven Stamkos have not led the NHL in scoring in a previous season.
2021-22 Art Ross Trophy odds
|To Win Art Ross Trophy|
Connor McDavid looks for fourth Ross
Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers won his first two Art Ross awards in back-to-back years. McDavid led the NHL in scoring in 2017 (100 points) and 2018 (108 points). He won his third Ross in 2021 with 105 points. He is in the running to once again win the Ross in consecutive years as he is currently fourth in the NHL in scoring with 59 points.
With his win last season, McDavid became the third player to win the Ross three times before his 25th birthday. Gretzky won the award five times before that milestone, while Howe earned three Ross Trophies before that milestone birthday. McDavid turned 25 in January 2022.
McDavid had a remarkable year in 2021. He not only led the league in points (105 in 56 games), but also in assists (72), power-play assists (28) and power-play points (37). He also had a part in 57.38 percent of Edmonton’s 183 total goals. McDavid’s teammate, Leon Draisaitl was second in scoring in 2021 with 84 points.
Jonathan Huberdeau breaks out
The 28-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau is having a breakout season for the Florida Panthers. Huberdeau is in his 10th year in the NHL and he is on pace to top the 100 point mark for the first time in his career. He has 64 points in 47 games played for the Panthers this season. His best season was the 2018-19 campaign when he scored 92 points in 82 games. His second best year came the following season when he put up 78 points in 69 games.
Huberdeau was named the NHL’s first star for the month of January after scoring 25 points in 15 games for the Panthers. The thing to watch with Huberdeau is that 25 points might be misleading as he had 11 points in October, 12 in November and 15 in December.
Leon Draisaitl looks to best his teammate
There is a good chance an Edmonton Oilers player will win the Art Ross Trophy for a third straight year and in six of the last seven seasons. McDavid won in 2017, 2018 and 2021. His teammate, Leon Draisaitl captured the award in 2020. The 2019 Ross went to Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning — McDavid was second in scoring that year.
Draisaitl won the Ross on the strength of a 110 point season in 2020. He was the only player to break the 100-point mark that year. McDavid was second in scoring with 97 points. Draisaitl also topped 100 points in 2019, a year when six players had 100 points or more.
This year, Draisaitl, who has 61 points for the Oilers, is projected to hit a career high 122 points for the season.
Our pick for the Art Ross Trophy
I don’t think Jonathan Huberdeau can sustain his January scoring pace for the rest of the season. I suspect he will fall off. History has shown us that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can keep scoring in the way they have been. With that, I think Draisaitl edges out McDavid for the 2022 Art Ross Trophy.
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