The 2022-23 NHL season heads quickly to the All-Star break next weekend. We’ve seen some amazing goal-scorers throughout the first half of the season. Also, there have been some unexpected results from forwards who dropped off unexpectedly. Here at VegasBetting, we peek at the 2022-23 NHL Rocket Richard Award Bets, highlighting those players who could make a move after February begins.
|Rocket Richard Award Numbers
Now, the 2022-23 NHL season shows another Boston Bruin competing for an award. That is no surprise. What is a shock? Look at the goal-scoring leaderboard.
It’s time to plunge into the candidates, revealing a few best bets before the teams take a break.
NHL Rocket Richard Bets feels like there is destiny for Connor McDavid. Again, the one thing the Edmonton Oiler’s top-six can do is score goals. They are among the best and led by two of the generational forwards in the league. Leon Draisaitl, a former 50-goal scorer himself, lies further down this list. However, McDavid started the season on fire and has not stopped.
McDavid’s scored 40 times in 49 games. That leads the entire NHL. His career high came in at 44 sets last year. If not for COVID, the Oilers’ center probably cracks 50 at least once. However, we do not make the rules. The forward uses his speed and hands to set up most of his goals. He is not the traditional sniper with a rocket of a shot. Yes, the award is named after “Rocket” Maurice Richard, who used his speed and quick hands to score 544 career goals.
Edmonton’s golden child won every major award at least twice, including the Pearson, Hart, and Ross trophies. Guess what? He has not won. Yes. The Rocket Richard eludes McDavid. That is up until this season. With McDavid sniping tallies at this rate, he is on pace to score 66 goals. This assumes he stays healthy.
With McDavid’s numbers shortening everywhere, there is this feeling that the award is not a foregone conclusion. However, what is his real motivation? Does he want to score 50? 60? Those are valid questions. Right now, the awards feel like destiny anyway.
NHL Rocket Richard Award Bets snags a look at David Pastrnak raising the list. Few pundits counted on Pastrnak staying this healthy. However, this is a contract year for the forward on one very team-friendly deal ($6.67 Million AAV). Boston’s perfect storm err surge coincides with Pastrnak’s goal and point total rise. While McDavid shoots an out-of-bounds 19.7%, Pastrnak is in line with career numbers at 16.4%.
The Bruins’ amazing run of winning 38 games already helps take the pressure off Pastrnak chasing this award. Now, the right-winger scored 48 goals in the COVID-shortened season in 2020. However, he never has sniped 50 goals himself. That is expected to change as well. Pastrnak remains on pace for over 60 goals (64, to be exact).
Forget how much David Pastrnak means to this Boston lineup. This is a chase for his second Rocket Richard Award. Furthermore, he wants to break that 50-goal plateau. Everyone knows the forward will get paid. It is secondary to his first goal, which is to snipe the goal lead. He closed to within three of McDavid and has a couple of games in hand on the Edmonton pivot. That plus money is not bad either.
Can Tage Thompson or Jason Robertson keep pace? That sounds nuts because the two young forwards broke out goal-scoring-wise this year. As for the NHL Rocket Richard Award Bets, both players have rocketed up the rankings. Robertson was known more for his speed and playmaking. Thompson became known for his positioning to score goals.
Both players are at 33 goals at press time and could easily top the 50-goal plateau. Robertson did score 41 last year. Also, the two forwards have identical numbers in goals and points. Thompson played three fewer games, however.
How does the pressure of this race affect both players in the second half? Remember, Thompson and Robertson, are attempting to get their teams into the playoffs. Also, Tage Thompson and the Buffalo Sabres have not seen the postseason since 2011. That adds pressure to a player trying to chase individual and team glory. So far, neither has regressed into any significant slumps this season.
Robertson is more of a long shot which catches our eye a bit more. However, Thompson averages over four shots a game and does have those games in hand. Buffalo needs goals to get into the postseason more than Dallas, who has Jake Oettinger in goal. Embrace err, take the Tage in this spot.
So, there are a few more Rocket Richard Trophy Candidates. What about former winners Alex Ovechkin (31 goals – +3500) and Auston Matthews (25 goals – +7500)? Both forwards can score in bunches. Matthews even did 50 in 50 once upon a time.
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