The Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy was introduced in 1999 and is awarded to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer each season.
It could be called the Alexander Ovechkin award because the Great Eight has claimed the trophy a record nine times (41%) since its inception.
Auston Matthews has taken home the title in back-to-back seasons and is very much looking like the Ovi of his generation.
Will we see a three-peat, or is it current scoring leader Connor McDavid’s turn to inscribe his name on the hardware?
2022-23 Rocket Richard Trophy Odds
Connor McDavid appears to be unstoppable. The generational talent is not only a runaway favorite for the Hart Trophy but also leads the way in the Rocket Richard race.
McDavid leads the league in goals (25), assists (29), and points (54) and is on pace for a 158-point season. In a word – ridiculous. He has an eight-point cushion in the points race, but it’s a little closer when it comes to just goals.
The Oilers center is just two ahead of Stars winger Jason Robertson, who went on an 18-game tear that saw him notch 21 goals in that span.
There’s little doubt that McDavid will win his fifth scoring title if healthy. But the Rocket Richard will be a closely contested race all season long.
At just 26 years old, David Pastrnak is already in his ninth NHL season. The Boston Bruin has averaged over a point per game in his distinguished career but is in the midst of his best season yet.
The Czech native is on pace for 57 goals and 114 points – both would be career highs. Pastrnak’s 19 goals are tied for fifth in the league and six back of McDavid.
Jason Robertson burst onto the scene last year with a 79-point season with the Dallas Stars. It looks like that was just the opening act.
The 23-year-old turned heads this year with an 18-game point streak that saw him rack up 21 goals and 34 points. He’s taken a breather in the last three contests, registering just one assist and no goals.
But with 23 Ginos, he’s just two back of the league leader and is someone to pay attention to.
Best value plays right now
AM34 is the purest goal-scorer not named Ovechkin in the NHL. The 6’3 center scored 60 goals in 73 games last season on his way to his second consecutive Rocket Richard Trophy.
Matthews has gotten off to a sluggish start by his standards (15 goals), but it shouldn’t surprise anybody when he starts to score in bunches. Now is a good time to invest your betting dollars in number 34.
Have yourself a year, Tage. There’s excitement in the air in Buffalo, and much of it is owed to 6’6 scoring machine Tage Thompson.
The Phoenix native is on pace to annihilate all of his previous scoring highs and has already had two six-point nights on the season.
Thompson has 21 goals for the high-flying Sabres, who have surprised the league with their offensive prowess. At +1500 at FanDuel, TT is an absolute bargain.
After settling into the NHL as a consistent 20-goal scorer, Bo had a breakout last season with 31. The 27-year-old has proven it was no fluke this year and has already potted 20 in just 28 games.
Horvat is just five goals behind McDavid but is getting absolutely zero respect from the hockey sportsbooks.
His +2900 odds at FanDuel seem a little too long for a guy that is on pace for 59 goals.
Previous Rocket Richard Trophy winners
2011-12 Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
2012-13 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2013-14 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2014-15 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2015-16 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2016-17 Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
2017-18 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2018-19 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2019-20 Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
2019-20 David Pastrnak Boston Bruins
2020-21 Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
2021-22 Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs