Opening Odds to Win 2021 Maurice Richard Trophy – Ovechkin Listed as +500 Favorite

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin follows through on a shot against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)
  • 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

Team 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

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

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

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.

2021 NHL Hart Trophy Odds Tracker

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)

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