The Rocket Richard Trophy
The “Rocket” Richard Trophy is awarded to the skater with the most goals at seasons end. The NHL award’s newest trophy, was introduced in 1999. Former San Jose Shark Teemu Salenne was the inaugural winner, although not a Shark at the time. Multiple winners include Jerome Iginla (2) Sidney Crosby (2), Pavel Bure (2) and Steven Stamkos also with, guess what, 2. Former San Jose Shark Shark Jonathan Cheechoo won it in 05-06, with 56 goals. The Sharks haven’t sniffed a 56 goal scorer since.
But the king of the Rocket Richard trophy is the 7 time winner, and finally Stanley Cup Champion because he’s not gonna f***ing suck this year, or any year is Alexander Ovechkin. Will he become the 8 time Rocket Richard winner?
Lucas Burrell- Alexander Ovechkin, LW Washington Capitals
Ovechkin was awarded the Rocket Richard last year, he potted 49 goals in 82 games. Ovi is unbelievable he lead the league is shots on goal, while placing second in in rebounds created among all skaters. The man is a monster in the offensive zone, team’s relatively have an idea of what he’s going to do after 14 seasons in the NHL, yet he continues to succeed.
I am picking Ovechkin to win the Rocket Richard again because he is a much more consistent shooter than the others who might be in contention this year. Ovi shot the puck at 13.4% rate last year, which is one percentage point off his career average. The other top shooters in league (Laine and W.Karlsson) are coming off career year shooting %’s and are likely regression candidates in that statistical category.
I really hope last year put to rest all of the Ovechkin doubters. He is the greatest goal scorer of this generation, and it’s a blessing that we get to see this dude come into every season puts it all on the line. Don’t expect him to slow down this year either, he seems to enjoy winning quite a bit
and is looking to repeat last year’s Stanley Cup run.
Michael Gutnick- Patrick Laine, RW Winnipeg Jets
The Winnipeg Jets have some tough company in the Central Division and it comes a little easier thanks to their Finnish finisher – Patrik Laine.
Laine and Alex Ovechkin stand as the two most potent powerhouses from the left circle in the sport. Ovechkin led the NHL last year with 49 goals and Laine pursued him just five short. However, with age comes experience and it’s time for Laine to take his game to the next level and prove he can be Rocket (Richard) man.
The 2016 2nd overall pick has a cannon that can pierce any goaltender in the league. He’s a pivotal piece on Winnipeg’s powerplay as he tallied up a career-high 20 goals on the man-advantage, ranking first in the league as well during his sophomore season. The 20-year-old right winger is a marksman that will continue to light up the lamp the moment he steps onto the ice and represents an ideal favorite to shoot over everyone for the Rocket Richard Trophy this season.
David Boettcher- Auston Matthews, C Toronto Maple Leafs
It’s fairly obvious after two games he has worked a lot on his shot.
Auston Matthews has always been a spectacularly talented hockey player. He has mostly been a playmaker his entire career. His skating allowed him to be able to move exceptionally well to areas to setup teammates and score goals. However, his shot left something to be desired. That changed this offseason.
In two games, Matthews has two goals and his shot looks noticeably more dangerous. He releases so quickly and accurately, with such power, I am surprised any goalie can track his shot. On a team loaded with playmakers, don’t be surprised to see Austin be the recipient of multiple passes.
Steve Fishman- Patrick Laine, LW Winnpeg Jets
Move over Ovi! There’s a new Sheriff in town! Laine is such a dynamic goal scorer, and with another year of experience under his belt, he should give the Great 8 a run for his money. He was on the absolute best line in hockey last season until Mark Scheifle got injured. Oh and not to mention, his linemate Blake Wheeler is coming off a career year, and was tied for most apples in the NHL with Claude Giroux.
This season is a bit different. Laine is now on the second line (how!?) with Bryan Little and Nicolaj Ehlers. This probably benefits Laine even more as the main objective for Little and Ehlers is to get Laine the puck so he can light the lamp.
Laine is the main piece on Winnipeg’s power play, and compares only to Ovechkin in terms of special teams scoring. With another year under Laine’s belt, I fully expect him to lead the NHL in Goals For.