NHL Futures: Ovie favored

Despite a disappointing season in 2010-2011, Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin is among the favorites in several NHL Futures listings.

Last season, the Washington Capitals left winger recorded just 85 points (32 goals, 53 assists), seventh most in the league. Those were the fewest goals and fewest overall points in his six-year NHL career.

Regardless, oddsmakers figure the 26-year-old is going to bounce back and be a force to reckon with this year. At +320, Ovechkin is tied with Tampa Bay center Steve Stamkos with the best odds to win the overall scoring title.

Last season, Vancouver left winger Daniel Sedin captured the Art Ross Trophy with 104 points (41 goals, 63 assists). Sedin is listed at +520 to repeat this season.

As for goals, Ovechkin is listed at +375 to score the most, which is fourth overall behind Pittsburgh centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (+270) and Stamkos (+325).

The top goal scorer last year was Anaheim right winger Corey Perry, who netted 50. He is listed at +425 to become the first repeat winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy since Ovechkin in 2008-2009.

In the category of Most Valuable Player, Ovechkin is listed at +375, second only to Stamkos (+275), last year’s MVP. Ovechkin has taken home the Hart Memorial Trophy twice (07-08, 08-09).

One futures category Ovechkin is not listed in is Rookie of the Year. This year, Flyers C Brayden Schenn (+275) has the best odds to win Rookie of the Year honors. Schenn, the fifth overall draft pick in 2009 by the Kings, was recently sent down to the minors.

Although Schenn is recovering from a sholder injury, the Flyers likely made the move to save money – Schenn’s salary drops by more than $1 million if he is not on the opening roster. As such, the 20-year-old’s visit to the minors will probably short-lived.

Last year, the Calder Memorial Trophy went to C Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes. The 7th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft collected 31 goals and 32 assists.

Below is a complete listing of NHL Player Futures.

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