What has felt like a formality for the last few weeks has now become official with the regular season finally ending: Auston Matthews is your 2021 winner of the Rocket Richard trophy.
Auston Matthews wins the Rocket Richard! pic.twitter.com/tnoqrJh01B
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) May 15, 2021
Matthews finished the campaign with 41 goals, with eight goals separating him from the runner-up (Connor McDavid with 33), making it the largest gap since the 2014-15 season. He is also the first American-born player to win the award and the first American since Keith Tkachuk in 1996-97 to lead the NHL in goals.
This is his first major individual award since capturing the Calder Trophy following his rookie campaign in 2016-17. Last season saw Matthews come close to winning the award but missed the cut by a single goal (47), losing out to David Pastrnak and Alex Ovechkin (both with 48).
We can only hope this isn’t the only trophy added to Matthews’ collection by season’s end, but I’m sure this isn’t the last time we talk about him winning the Rocket Richard.