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Patrik Laine Favored to Win 2019 Rocket Richard Trophy for Most Goals

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine
Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine is off to a fast start in 2018-19. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
  • After scoring 18 goals in November, Laine has taken the early lead in the NHL goal scoring race
  • The Finnish sensation is on pace to easily eclipse last season’s total of 44 goals
  • Alex Ovechkin is providing considerable value on Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy odds

It took the first few weeks of the NHL season for Patrik Laine to find his scoring groove. But after potting 18 goals in 12 appearances during the month of November, the Winnipeg Jets sniper has taken over the lead in the NHL goal scoring race, and has emerged as the early favorite to win this season’s Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, sporting +650 odds on the NHL specials at Bovada.

2019 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy Odds

Who Will Win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s Top Goal Scorer? Team Odds at Bovada
Patrick Laine Winnipeg +650
Alex Ovechkin Washington +850
Connor McDavid Edmonton +900
Jeff Skinner Buffalo +900
David Pastrnak Boston +950
Brayden Point Tampa Bay +1100
John Tavares Toronto +1600
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh +2000
Nathan McKinnon Colorado +2000
Gabriel Landeskog Colorado +2000

Laine Among Fastest Ever to Reach 100 Goals

Selected second overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, Laine has quickly established himself as an elite goal scorer while becoming the fourth youngest NHLer to reach 100 goals. And with 21 markers through just 26 games this season, the 20-year-old sensation is well on his way to eclipsing his total from all of last season, which he finished second only to Alex Ovechkin with 44 goals.

Consistency Remains a Concern for Jets Star

There is no denying Laine’s immense talent, and the Finnish phenom has benefited from playing on the second line of a deep Winnipeg Jets lineup, often providing him with favorable matchups against opposing defenders. Laine has also been a force on the Jets’ power play, scoring 10 of Winnipeg’s 23 goals with the extra man.

However, Laine’s production has been streaky at times during the early days of his NHL career, as illustrated by his slow start to the current campaign and a stretch-run drought to close out last season.

Ovechkin in Contention to Win 8th Career Richard Trophy

The Jets star also faces stiff competition from established goal scorers, most notably from Ovechkin, who sits second to Laine on the Rocket Richard Trophy odds at +850 after racking up 19 goals through his first 26 appearances.

A seven-time winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, Ovechkin led the Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup victory last spring while leading the NHL with 49 goals. The charismatic Russian has also benefited from plenty of power play time, scoring seven times while leading the league with 4:35 of ice time per game with the man advantage.

However, unlike Laine, Ovechkin is among the leaders in total ice time among NHL forwards, and has established himself as a reliable point producer in all situations.

Pastrnak Enjoying Breakthrough, but Hampered by Loss of Bergeron

David Pastrnak is amid a breakthrough campaign, and can’t be overlooked as an attractive +950 wager to claim his first career goal scoring title. The smooth skating Czech sits level with Ovechkin with 19 goals through 26 appearances while playing alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the Boston Bruins’ top line.

The trio has combined for 80 points through the first two months of the season. However, Pastrnak must overcome the Bruins’ lack of secondary scoring which has left them among the bottom feeders in the NHL in team scoring.

The 22-year-old has also been impacted by the loss of Bergeron to a rib injury that has sidelined him indefinitely, scoring in just one of seven games since the loss of the team’s top center.

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Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.