The Rocket Richard Trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in the NHL as the award is given to the player who scores the most goals during the regular season, and there are always many candidates to win the award.
Past winners of the Rocket Richard Trophy still active in the league include Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Sidney Crosby, David Pastrnak, Corey Perry, and nine-time winner Alex Ovechkin.
Below, we will be going over the Rocket Richard Trophy favourites for the 2023/24 season.
With the shortest odds is Connor McDavid. McDavid had the world in awe due to his playmaking ability and hockey IQ early into his career, but now his goal scoring prowess has developed into an even stronger ability.
McDavid won last year’s Rocket Richard Trophy with 64 goals, and with the ease of scoring he has shown, it will be no surprise if he gets that again.
Next in the odds is the 2021-22 Rocket Richard winner Auston Matthews. This Maple Leafs star has impressed us with his goal scoring capabilities from the second he entered the league.
He has a lethal and deceiving release with power and accuracy, and he is only getting better.
Even though his goal totals dropped last year, he has scored at least 40 goals in five of his seven seasons, and is a constant threat to win the Rocket Richard.
The second Edmonton Oiler on the list is Leon Draisaitl. While he hasn’t won a Rocket Richard yet, his goal scoring has been near the top of the league for years now.
He has scored at least 52 goals in each of his last two seasons, with three 50 goal seasons under his belt overall.
When players are too focused on Connor McDavid, Draisaitl is always there to fill the back of the net which makes him a prime candidate for the award.
David Pastrnak, right winger for the Boston Bruins, rounds out the players with three-digit odds. Pastrnak has fully solidified himself as the Bruins go-to scorer, and he already has a Rocket Richard to his name when he scored 48 goals in the 2019-20 season.
He smoked his career best in goals by scoring 61 last year, which was an improvement of 13 goals on his previous single-season record. He will look to increase that total even more and win his second Rocket Richard.
Mikko Rantanen comes nexts in this list. Before last season, Rantanen never reached 40 goals in a season, but what goes under the radar is his goals per game average.
He has scored 140 goals in the last four seasons (251 games), which is an average of 0.56 goals per game. This averages out to almost 46 goals per season.
If Mikko Rantanen can stay healthy and build off of a 55 goal season, he will be near the top contenders for this trophy.
Tage Thompson is next on this list, as he continues to grow at a scary pace. After a slow start to his career, Thompson scored a combined 85 goals in his last two seasons, with a goals per game average of 0.54.
His 47 goal campaign from 2022-23 seems very breakable, as this player is improving quickly and is the top offensive option for the Sabres.
This 6'7" forward has an extremely good shot, with some of the best hands in close in the league. The 25-year-old is just getting started with his scoring touch.
Another player who is breaking out at an alarming rate is Matthew Tkachuk for the Florida Panthers. He has scored at least 40 goals in each of the last two seasons.
He is arguably the best player when in close and grinding in front of the net, and he has a great eye for re-directing shots. He is every goalie’s nightmare, which is why he is a Rocket Richard threat.
Jack Hughes comes next on this list for the New Jersey Devils. The 22-year-old is on his way to becoming one of the top goal scorers in the league if he keeps up his recent totals.
Over the past two seasons, his total of 69 goals in 127 games is good for a 0.54 goals per game average. His speed and skill is nearly unmatched, and he should continue to show that in this upcoming campaign.
Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars has been asserting himself as one of the top goalscorers in the Western Conference, and he should continue that trend in 2023/24.
He scored 41 goals in 2021/22 and 46 in 2022/23, and as he improves, the Stars will be using him at an even higher role.
A slow playoffs with just 7 goals in 19 games will have him highly motivated to hit the ground running in his scoring efforts this season.
To close out the list is Nathan MacKinnon. While MacKinnon is known for setting up his offensive weapons, he has also shown high scoring ability. This is why he is one of the best players in the league.
He has league-dominating speed, and his 42 goals in 71 games last season shows he’s got more than enough goal-scoring touch.