NHL

NHL Rocket Richard Trophy Odds: Auston Matthews Favorite in a Wide Open Field

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Rocket Richard Trophy Odds: Auston Matthews Favorite in a Wide Open Field

Can any player pull away from the field in the Rocket Richard Trophy race?

The first quarter of the 2023-24 NHL campaign has proven to be an exciting one, with surprise teams and players taking the league by storm. As a result, the award races have been fun to follow early on.

The Rocket Richard Trophy race is off to a hot start, with the top 10 in the goal race all being within three goals of one another.

Let's dive into the odds for the Rocket Richard, per the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Player
Rocket Richard Trophy Odds
Auston Matthews+135
David Pastrnak+360
Connor McDavid+650
Leon Draisaitl+700
Kyle Connor+1600
Nikita Kucherov+1800
Mikko Rantanen+2000
View Full Table

NHL Rocket Richard Trophy Odds

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (+135)

The two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner remains the favorite through the first quarter of the season.

Auston Matthews has recorded 16 goals in 22 games. His most recent game saw him pot two goals after scoring just one goal over the previous nine outings.

The good news with Matthews is that he has a track record of getting hot -- as we saw with the opening of his season this year. He had six goals in his first two games while also tallying six more across a three-game span from November 2nd to November 6th.

With his 16 goals, he's just one goal back of the league lead. There's plenty of season to go where the Toronto Maple Leafs' forward can get hot for a longer stretch. Matthews has 92 shots, the ninth-most in the NHL. He takes an average of 4.18 shots per game.

If he can find the consistency that he's shown in years past, he's likely to take the Rocket Richard home once again.

David Pastrnak, Bruins (+360)

David Pastrnak has shown his greatness once again this season and is in the hunt for a second Rocket Richard Trophy.

Through his first 24 games, Pastrnak is second in the NHL with 36 points. He's been dishing more than scoring, recording 22 assists to his 14 goals. The goal tally may feel low, but even so, the winger is still in the conversation here by being just three goals behind the top of the leaderboard.

Pasta has scored 40 or more goals in three of his last four seasons -- with the one season he didn't reach the mark being the shortened 48-game campaign in 2020-21. It's known that Pastrnak can get hot in the goal-scoring department at any time, and he's coming off a 61-goal season a year ago.

The shots are there as the Boston Bruins' forward has racked up 114 shots, the second-most in the NHL. That's an average of 4.75 shots per game.

Pastrnak is behind, but at +360 odds -- compared to his preseason odds of +1000 -- he is trending in the right direction.

Connor McDavid, Oilers (+650)

Entering the 2023-24 season, Connor McDavid was the favorite to take home the Rocket Richard Trophy for the second year in a row.

It hasn't been the start anyone expected from McDavid -- or the Edmonton Oilers for that matter. McDavid has 29 points in 20 games this season -- but just 8 of those points are goals. It's asking a lot for McDavid to make up nine goals with the number of big-name scorers ahead of him, which is why he's fallen from +200 odds to +650.

Before last season, when he recorded a career-high 64 goals, McDavid's previous best was 44. He likely falls around the 40-goal range again this year instead of sniffing 60 -- which maybe no one will when it's all said and done.

At this stage, there are longer shots in the field who are far more appealing in the goal-scoring race. Bet elsewhere if you're interested in the market.

Nikita Kucherov, Lightning (+1800)

It's been a few years, but Nikita Kucherov is looking like the best player in the NHL once again.

Kucherov has stormed ahead as the points leader in the NHL, coming into Tuesday with 42 points -- six more than the second-place Pastrnak. It's similar to the play of Kucherov back in the 2018-19 season -- when he won the Hart Trophy.

One thing that the Tampa Bay Lightning right winger has never accomplished is leading the league in goals -- but he's got the numbers to make it a reality this season. He has 16 goals so far this season, tying him for second place in the NHL and one behind the lead. He currently leads the NHL in shots with a staggering 123 so far -- good for an average of 4.92 shots per game.

After a few years of bad luck health-wise and coming off a season where he potted 30 goals, Kucherov can at the very least stay in the hunt from here on out. Despite not having the track record of a previous Rocket Richard win -- like the three names prior do -- he's a good bet, especially at +1800 odds.

Brock Boeser, Canucks (+3500)

For someone who leads the league in goals, the odds are certainly still stacked against Brock Boeser.

Boeser's return to form this year has been one of the best early-season stories of the campaign. In his rookie season back in 2017-18, he notched 29 goals, setting himself up to be one of the next great goalscorers. Unfortunately for Boeser, that 29-goal effort remains his career high, and he came into the 2023-24 season off his worst year yet, scoring only 18 goals over a 74-game period.

However, through 25 games this season, he is one goal away from matching his goal total from last year. Boeser paces the NHL in goals with 17 as he's played a key part in the surging Vancouver Canucks and their offensive domination throughout the first quarter.

These odds cast major doubt about Boeser's ability to keep up this pace. After all, the most goals he's had in a season over his last four years is 23. But if the Canucks continue to play like they are, there's no reason to think Boeser can't at least stay in the conversation for the foreseeable future.

That makes him fairly enticing at these longshot odds.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.