Any talk of the NHL’s leading goal scorer in 2019-20 starts with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. The veteran has won six of the last seven Rocket Richard Trophies, but most offshore sportsbooks believe this may be the year the mad Russian’s reign comes to an end. There are a number of young, talented players ready to take over as the most prolific in the NHL. Here’s a look at your best bets.
The Elder Statesman Well, he has won eight goal-scoring titles and, at 34, he still has plenty of hockey left in him. Ovechkin scored 51 goals last year and shows no signs of slowing down. The safe bet is on the guy who has an entire trophy cabinet full of Rocket Richard awards. Ovechkin checks in at +600 to win his ninth goal-scoring title.
The Young Phenom Many NHL betting predictions are forecasting Toronto’s Auston Matthews as the next goal-scoring champion. The one thing that could stop Matthews is not defenders around the league. It’s his health. In his three NHL seasons, Matthews has 111 goals, which is fifth in that time period. Matthews has missed 34 games in those three seasons.
His per-game goals average ranks second behind – you guessed it – Ovechkin. If Matthews, who is listed at +750 to win, can play a full 82-game schedule; he could supplant Ovechkin as the Rocket Richard Trophy winner.
Tempting Picks Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl burst onto the radar last year with a monster year finishing one goal behind Ovechkin with 50. Draisaitl is listed at +2000 to win, which makes him an interesting pick. He’s not the only Edmonton Oiler in the mix either.
Connor McDavid finished second in the points race behind Nikita Kucherov last year. McDavid scored 41 goals and is one of the game’s best young players. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, and Chicago’s Patrick Kane are all top goal scorers and tempting picks.
The Longshots He will turn just 22 in December and has only two years of NHL experience, but he improved his goal count from 28 in 2017-18 to 41 last season. Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat is the type of player that could surprise the entire league with extraordinary goal-scoring ability. Just 5-feet-7-inches tall and barely 170 pounds, DeBrincat will play on the Blackhawks first power-play unit with former Rocket Richard Trophy winner Kane and Jonathan Toews. Playing alongside such talent, anything is possible for DeBrincat.
An even longer shot is in Nashville. Viktor Arvidsson only played in 58 games last season, but he scored 34 goals. If the Nashville forward would have played a full 82-game schedule last year, that translates to a 48-goal campaign. Not too shabby. Arvidsson’s set a career-high when he converted on 17.4 percent of his shots last season. If he can continue his hot shooting in 2019-20, Arvidsson would be a nice payout at +15000 to be the NHL’s top goal scorer. Don’t forget, he will play alongside Ryan Johansen (50 assists last year) and newcomer Matt Duchene. Arvidsson will also likely skate on the Predators' top power-play unit increasing his odds of challenging for the Rocket Richard Trophy.