Rocket Richard Trophy: Who Will Lead The NHL In Goals?

Leon Draisaitl Has Taken Advantage Of His Time With Connor McDavid

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The Favorite: Leon Draisaitl +250

Draisaitl has been a man on a mission this season, dominating his opponents to the tune of 23 goals and 26 assists already through just 29 games. Of course, playing with superstar Connor McDavid can do that for you, and McDavid is an excellent setup man who leads the NHL in assists with 32 of his own. The dynamic duo has torched the league, and leads in all three major categories: points, goals and assists.

It is always difficult to bet on a player when he has another player on his team that is capable of doing the exact same thing he is, but even better. However, I'm willing to make an exception here. McDavid has 17 goals this season and is very capable of taking the lead from his teammate, but he seems to be content with dishing out assists left and right. A true team captain, he's going to play the way his team needs him to in order to win, and so far, this seems to be working pretty well.

Draisaitl will continue to get great looks all season long from McDavid, and I don't see his goalscoring going away anytime soon. He finished last season ranked fourth in the NHL with 31 goals in 56 games, and now he looks to blow that number out of the water.

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Value Play: Kyle Connor +1400

The Winnipeg Jets have had all kinds of issues early on in the season ranging from injuries to COVID concerns. The one constant has been the outstanding play of Kyle Connor, who has been a revelation for the Jets. He has almost single-handily kept the team competitive during their trial and tribulations, scoring 18 goals with 14 assists, and having 32 points in 30 games this year. He has really done it all for his team, and it really stands out.

Even through all the stuff the team is going through, having head coach Paul Maurice resign in the middle of a season, Connor has been a massive bright spot for the organization. His most trusted teammate, Blake Wheeler, is now on injured reserve. You know what that means. He's going to see a huge amount of ice time in an effort to keep the team from falling behind, and they are going to rely on him to be their main scoring threat every single night.

He is more important now than ever for them, and might be one of the most highly used players in the NHL over the course of the rest of the season. That usage alone is enough to drive this number up, and now he sits as the fifth favorite to score the most goals. I would grab this number while you can, as he is going to be playing a lot down the stretch.

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Longshot: Aleksander Barkov +3000

I love Barkov, as you might know from reading some of my other articles about his futures. The problem with him is the amount of injuries he sustains and how often he is out of games. The good news is when he is playing, he's downright dominant and as dangerous as any player in the league. Despite missing half the season so far, his odds to win this award have gone up since the preseason, and that is because he was so good top start the year. In just 16 games this season, he scored 10 goals with 8 assists, rocking 18 points. He is only 13 goals behind the leaders having played in less than half of their games. If he can come back and have a stretch run towards the end, its not impossible he could do it on a team like Florida.

Barkov scored 26 goals in 50 games last year, which ranked ninth in the NHL. He got paid a ton of money this offseason, and now he will look to earn that cash. If he can get back on the ice, that is. This is a long shot, mind you, so please don't bet a ton on it. A sprinkle will do.

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