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Alexander Ovechkin Heavily Favored to Win 2019 Rocket Richard Trophy

Alexander Ovechkin
Alexander Ovechkin has been nearly unstoppable once again in 2018-19. Photo by Michael Miller (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • Alexander Ovechkin is a heavy favorite to win the Rocket Richard Trophy.
  • Ovechkin has won the award seven different times.
  • Four players are tied for second spot, six goals back of Ovechkin.

Alexander Ovechkin is in a familiar spot, atop the table in the chase for the Rocket Richard Trophy. Ovechkin has 37 goals this season, six more than Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Jeff Skinner, and Patrick Kane who are tied for second.

With a big lead and seven Rocket Richard’s already in his trophy closet, it’s no surprise he’s erased the gap between him and the previous Rocket Richard Trophy favorite, Patrik Laine.

Odds to Win the Rocket Richard Trophy

Player Odds to Win the 2019 Rocket Richard Trophy at BetOnline (02/05/19)
Alexander Ovechkin (WAS) -250
Connor McDavid (EDM) +800
John Tavares (TOR) +1000
Jeff Skinner (BUF) +1200
Patrick Kane (CHI) +1200
Brayden Point (TB) +1400
David Pastrnak (BOS) +1400
Gabriel Landeskog (COL) +2200
Nathan Mackinnon (COL) +2500
Brayden Point (TB) +1400
Joe Pavelski (SJ) +2800
Leon Draisaitl (EDM) +2800
Steven Stamkos (TB) +2800
Mark Scheifele (WPG) +4000
Patrik Laine (WPG) +4000
Auston Matthews (TOR) +5000
Cam Atkinson (CBJ) +5000

The Case for Alex Ovechkin (-250)

With his track record and a big lead, paying the -250 price isn’t actually that steep. He’s a very good bet to win the award for an eighth time. One fear with goal scorers is when they rely too heavily on the power play, but Ovechkin hasn’t fallen victim to that this year. Of his 37 goals only 10 have been on the man advantage. Creating at even strength is evidence he hasn’t lost a step and he’s not going to be slowed by any Stanley Cup or All-Star break hangover.

Alex Ovechkin’s dominance so far this season doesn’t mean he can’t be caught in the race. There’s a list of other possibilities, and three players in particular, that could capture the trophy should Ovechkin get hurt or fall into a cold spell.

The Case for John Tavares (+1000)

John Tavares has been awesome in his first season with the Maple Leafs, tallying 31 goals so far. The good news for Tavares, after being split up for two games, he has been reunited with Mitch Marner, who ranks in the top 10 with 43 assists this year.

With the Leafs battling for position, expect Tavares to be play lots of minutes in high leverage situations the rest of the way.

Tavares has never scored more than 38 goals in a season, which is reason for his current odds position (+1000), but he’s never had a linemate like Marner. With the Leafs battling for position, expect Tavares to be play lots of minutes in high leverage situations the rest of the way.

The Case for Brayden Point (+1400)

One goal behind Tavares you’ll find Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has arrived as a superstar in the league and is due a new contract as a pending restricted free agent.

The reality is, Point scores in bunches but is overshadowed on a loaded team with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman as bigger stars. Point plays on the top unit with Kucherov and shouldn’t stop scoring any time soon.

The Case for Cam Atkinson (+5000)

This would qualify as a deep, deep sleeper, but if you’re looking for value, Cam Atkinson could be the best bet. Paying +5000 despite sitting only three goals back of the pack and tied for second in goal scoring.

If you’re looking for value, Cam Atkinson could be the best bet at +5000.

He’s playing on a Blue Jackets team that could be buyers or sellers at the deadline, but either one could result in a bump for the 29-year old. If they sell pending unrestricted free agent Artemi Panarin, it’ll result in more workload which could result in more goals. If they’re sitting in a playoff spot on deadline day and buy, it could surround Atkinson with more talent to work with. He’s an outside shot, but one that’s getting incredible value.

The Final Verdict

Fool me once shame on you, fool me seven times shame on me. Betting against Alex Ovechkin to lead the league in goals wouldn’t be a wise decision. Side with the favorite and enjoy the likely wind fall at the end of the regular season.

Pick: Alex Ovechkin (-250)

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Ryan Bolta has been at TSN for 10 years working in a variety of roles. He’s been a lead content producer for Sportscentre, That’s Hockey 2Nite and That’s Hockey, and has also spent time on-air with TSN1050. Ryan also launched and hosted TSN’s first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show.