Rocket Richard Trophy: Leaders in 2019-20 NHL goal-scoring race, previous winners, history

Sporting News

As the NHL's 2019-20 season was winding down, the race for hardware was heating up — including the Rocket Richard Trophy race.

Four players were within five goals of each other at the top of the list, with a bunch more nipping at their heels.

Now there's a strong chance the regular season will not play out as talks have reportedly centered around heading to a 20-24 team postseason resumption.

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So where does everything stand if the regular season is officially done? There's been no word as to how things will unfold. But until then, here's everything you need to know on the race to raise the prestigious trophy.

What is the Rocket Richard Trophy?

Awarded to the NHL's top goal scorer by the NHL Board of Governors, the Maurice Richard Trophy, or commonly called the Rocket Richard Trophy, was provided to the NHL by the Montreal Canadiens in honor of the Hall of Famer.

Over the course of 18 seasons with the Canadiens, Maurice led the NHL in goals five times, was the first to score 50 in 50 games in 1944-45 and the first-ever 500-goal scorer in the league's history. He finished his career with 544 goals in 978 games.

The trophy was first handed out following the 1998-99 season to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim's Teemu Selanne who led the NHL with 47 goals.

Who are the 2020 leading candidates?

Everyone expected Alex Ovechkin to be back in the picture, along with last season's runner-up, Leon Draisaitl, but this race has been led by David Pastrnak for most of the season. The Bruins forward was on pace for 56 goals, followed closely by Ovechkin and the Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews, who was closing in on his first 50-goal season.

TEAM

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

PROJ. GOALS

Boston Bruins

David Pastrnak

70

48

56

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

68

48

57

Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews

70

47

55

Edmonton Oilers

Leon Draisaitl

71

43

50

New York Rangers

Mika Zibanejad

57

41

50

Carolina Hurricanes

Sebastian Aho

68

38

46

Winnipeg Jets

Kyle Connor

71

38

44

Buffalo Sabres

Jack Eichel

68

36

43

Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon

69

35

41

Edmonton Oilers

Connor McDavid

64

34

40

Who has won the most Rocket Richard Trophies?

The Washington Capitals star winger Alex Ovechkin has captured the trophy a record eight times. He could have won it his rookie year but lost out to the Sharks' Jonathan Cheechoo by four goals and was a goal short in 2009-10.

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2007-08 Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin 65

Who has won the Rocket Richard Trophy?

SEASON

TEAM

PLAYER

GOALS

2018-19

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

51

2017-18

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

49

2016-17

Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby

44

2015-16

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

50

2014-15

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

53

2013-14

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

51

2012-13

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

32

2011-12

Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos

60

2010-11

Anaheim Ducks

Corey Perry

50

2009-10

Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby

51

Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos

51

2008-09

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

56

2007-08

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin

65

2006-07

Tampa Bay Lightning

Vincent Lecavalier

52

2005-06

San Jose Sharks

Jonathan Cheechoo

56

2003-04

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rick Nash

41

Atlanta Thrashers

Ilya Kovalchuk

41

Calgary Flames

Jarome Iginla

41

2002-03

Colorado Avalanche

Milan Hejduk

50

2001-02

Calgary Flames

Jarome Iginla

52

2000-01

Florida Panthers

Pavel Bure

59

1999-00

Florida Panthers

Pavel Bure

58

1998-99

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Teemu Selanne

47

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