- Alex Ovechkin is the +500 favorite to win his 10th Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal-scorer of 2020-21
- Boston’s David Pastrnak, who tied Ovechkin for the award in 2019-20, ranks sixth at +900
- See the opening 2021 Richard Trophy odds, our analysis, and a pick to win the award below
Since Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06, he has won 60% of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies. He’s won it nine times in 15 seasons. Nobody else has won it more than twice.
That’s why it is easy to make Ovechkin the favorite in the Rocket Richard Trophy odds, even though he is 35.
Some view Ovechkin as the most dangerous scorer in NHL history, based on the fact that he has scored 50 or more goals eight times in an era when there has been constant complaining about how difficult it is to score goals. Ovechkin also plays for a team with a good chance to win it all.
He has never scored fewer than 32 goals and only has been under 40 goals in a season four times. One of his sub-40 seasons was a 48-game season.
2021 Rocket Richard Trophy Odds
|Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)||+500|
|Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)||+600|
|Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)||+700|
|Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)||+800|
|David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)||+900|
|Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets)||+1400|
|Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)||+1200|
|Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes)||+1400|
|Steven Stamkos (Columbus Blue Jackets)||+1800|
|Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)||+2000|
|Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)||+2000|
|John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs)||+2500|
|Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)||+2500|
|Jake Guentzel (Pittsburgh Penguins)||+2800|
|Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers)||+3300|
Odds as of Dec.15
Ovechkin Hasn’t Yet Been Slowed By Age
When athletes reach their mid-30s, everyone starts to look for signs of decline. We haven’t seen any indication of Ovechkin slowing down. His release is as quick, and his shot as heavy, as it ever was.
If the season had not been cut short by the pandemic last spring, Ovechkin would have notched his ninth 50-goal season. He is just as competitive as he was when he was a young man.
Another important element of his success is his durability: He has only missed a smattering of games in his career. Ovechkin has only missed eight games in the past eight seasons. He plays through minor injuries. That’s yet another reason why he is a good betting option for the Richard Trophy
The Greatest NHL Goal of the 21st Century (as voted on by you, the fans) belongs to… none other than @ovi8 himself. ?
Alex Ovechkin’s beauty from his back in ’06 is the ultimate champion! ?? pic.twitter.com/ircixMf9wW
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 3, 2020
Draisaitl a Better Bet Than McDavid
Connor McDavid is the NHL’s most dynamic offensive player. He can bring you out of your seat on any shift. If you were starting a team, you’d take McDavid over Leon Draisaitl.
But if you are wagering on the Richard Trophy, Draisaitl is a better option. Over the past two seasons, Draisaitl netted 93 goals compared to 75 for McDavid.
McDavid has never scored more than 42 goals, and Draisaitl has already been a 50-goal scorer. Right or wrong, Draisaitl seems more durable
Players who hit the most posts in 2019-20:
Leon Draisaitl 14
Elias Pettersson 13
Austin Matthews 12
Patrik Laine 11
Jake Virtanen 11
Cale Makar 11
Jakub Vrana 10
Mile Hoffman 10
Connor McDavid 10
Matt Dumba 10
— Deustch Dangles (@DeustchDangles) December 9, 2020
Eichel is an Intriguing Long Shot Choice
At 24, Buffalo’s Jack Eichel is entering the prime of his career. He scored 36 goals last season and looked like he might be able to net 50.
This season, he will play with another strong skater in Taylor Hall. It is not unthinkable that Eichel could have a monster season. With +2000 odds, Eichel seems like the perfect choice for someone looking to put some money down on a long shot ride with a player who possesses the talent to be in the scoring choice.
Eichel is a better choice than Carolina’s Sebastian Aho at +1400 and as good Kyle Connor at +1400
Jack Eichel is Josh Allen’s production with Sam Darnold’s team situtation
— Kevin (@ntrider825) December 15, 2020
Richard Trophy Race Offers Several Good Value Bets
Betting trophy races is always about maximizing a balance between chances of winning with a high potential payoff. Laying a wager on Ovechkin at +500 is an attractive option.
But Boston’s David Pastrnak at +900 is a better option for a futures bet, especially given that he tied Ovechkin last season. Auston Matthews (+700) is also interesting because he has scored 158 goals in four seasons, including 47 last season. He’s going to net 60 at some point.
Nathan MacKinnon of Colorado is also attractive because Colorado could be, or should be, one of the NHL’s top two teams. At 25, he looks like he’s ready to go from a 40-goal scorer to a 50+ scorer.
Pick: Nathan MacKinnon (+1200)