Rocket Richard Race Heating Up

The NHL’s Rocket Richard Trophy is awarded annually to the layer who scores the most goals in the regular season. This year, the front runners are Alex Ovechkin, Patrik Laine, and Evgeni Malkin.

Alex Ovechkin currently leads the NHL in goals with 44 and is the favorite to win the Richard Trophy this season. Ovechkin has the opportunity to lead the NHL in goals for the fifth time in the past six seasons. If Ovechkin were to do so, it would be the 7th time in his career. Ovechkin is poised to score between 48-51 goals this season. If Ovechkin hits the 50 goal mark, it will be the 8th time in his career. Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky currently share the record for most 50 goals seasons with nine. Ovechkin plans to take over the record in the upcoming seasons.

Patrik Laine is one of Ovechkins biggest competitors. Laine currently has 43 goals and there is no sign of him slowing down. He leads the league with 20 goals in 22 games since February 1st. If Laine wins the Rocket Richard, he will be the youngest player to do so since Rick Nash back in 2003-04. If Laine plays all of the Jets remaining games, he has the potential to overtake Alex Ovechkin and take on the Richard.

Evgeni Malkin is quietly racing up the ranks. Malkin currently has 41 goals and is having a fantastic season. Malkin has the smallest chance at winning the Richard considering Ovechkin and Laine will most likely play their remaining games and continue scoring. Malkin has also returned to his usual scoring rate which isn’t as fast as Ovechkin and Laine’s rate.

Here’s my bold prediction, Patrik Laine takes home the Rocket Richard by scoring more goals than Ovechkin. We haven’t seen a young player take home the hardware since Rick Nash in 03-04 and this could very well be Laine’s year. He is easily one of the leagues best players behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. If Laine wins the award it’ll be a great thing to see since Ovechkin has won the award so many times over the past 8 years.

Photo: Forbes

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