Kirill Kaprizov a Dark Horse Favorite for Hart Trophy, Among Others

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 Minnesota Wild season begins Thursday night (7PM vs NY Rangers) and NHL analytical projection models are bullishly optimistic on their outlook. How is that possible when, in the offseason, a cap-strained Wild team was forced to let an 80-point scorer, Kevin Fiala, walk? Their best regular season goalie, Cam Talbot, forced his way out too.

Because those same projection models see Kirill Kaprizov as a superstar who’s ready to blossom into a top 5-10 player in the league. A guy who has a realistic shot at winning the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), among other individual awards

But it isn’t just the analytical models that like Kirill. Experts across the NHL media landscape, and those making odds at sportsbooks, also see Kirill Kaprizov as a dark horse MVP candidate.

NHL Media

Most hockey media outlets on the internet, who have a group of experts they employ for hockey takes, all have Minnesota Wild and Kirill Kaprizov believers on the payroll. They’re certainly in the minority, but they exist.

ESPN, for example, has three experts who are picking Kirill to win the Hart Trophy. Steve Levy, their most notable hockey personality, picked Kaprizov to win the Art Ross Trophy (scoring leader).

Kaprizov got 5.1% of the vote from The Athletic’s NHL staff, for the Hart Trophy, good for 4th-highest. He also ranked 3rd in voting for the Rocket Richard Trophy (most goals) with 2.1% of votes. Over at DailyFaceoff.com, just two players got votes for the Hart Trophy prediction. Connor McDavid (5) and Kirill Kaprizov (3).


Sportsbooks Confident in Kaprizov

It isn’t just the NHL media that likes the way 2022-23 projects for Kirill Kaprizov. Legal sportsbooks are propping up all over the country and they like how the Minnesota Wild’s 25-year-old forward stacks up too.

At VegasInsider.com, Kaprizov is +1400 to win the Hart Trophy. That makes him a listed favorite, behind just Connor McDavid (+250), Auston Matthews (+500), Leon Draisaitl (+850) and Nathan MacKinnon (+1200).

The best odds you can get on the mainstream US betting market (where legal) is at Barstool. There, you can get Kirill for +1700. If you’re at Fanduel or DraftKings, however, you’ll have to settle for Kaprizov at +1200. He’s sprinkled all over the Art Ross (Most Points) and Rocket Richard (Most Goals) trophy odds.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan