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

As the NHL’s 2019-20 season winds down, the race for hardware heats up — and nothing is hotter right now then the Rocket Richard Trophy race.

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

Here’s everything you need to know about the race to become the NHL’s top goal scorer and 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 is on pace for 58 goals and is followed closely by the Maple Leafs Auston Matthews who is closing in on his first-career 50-goal season.

TEAM PLAYER GOALS
Boston Bruins David Pastrnak 48
Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin 48
Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews 46
Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl 43
New York Rangers Mika Zibanejad 39
Carolina Hurricanes Sebastian Aho 36
Winnipeg Jets Kyle Connor 36
Buffalo Sabres Jack Eichel 36
Colorado Avalanche Nathan MacKinnon 35
Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Kucherov 33
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid 33
New York Rangers Artemi Panarin 32

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.

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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