You can count on one hand the amount of NHL rookies to score 100 points in their rookie season. Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are the two most notable to the current NHL fan, but also Mario Lemieux and Dale Hawerchuk have accomplished the feat.
It now appears we might have another NHL rookie join this elusive club.
Patrik Laine didn’t take too well to being the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old has proven that he’s just as good as any top overall selection the NHL has had in recent memory.
On the young season, Laine has scored 15 points through 14 games. While that pace doesn’t put him at 100 points for the season, it’s going to keep him on the radar for a potential record-breaking year.
Laine might be the most gifted rookie of all the 2016 NHL Draft class, and that’s remarkable considering his competition.
While Laine currently leads all rookies in points, there are quite a few others behind him waiting to take over his lead. This list includes Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Jimmy Vesey, all of whom are more than capable of winning the coveted Calder Trophy.
However, despite their efforts, it’s unlikely any will surpass Laine’s goal scoring numbers, which he’s doing at a near record pace. Laine won’t beat Teemu Salanne’s record of 72 goals in a rookie season, but it’s not out of the question that he hits 50 or more.
There have been only four players to reach the 50-goal plateau in their debut seasons, one of which is the aforementioned Alexander Ovechkin. At his current pace, Laine would hit that mark around his 70th game.
You can add Winnipeg Jets coach, Paul Maurice, to the growing number of NHL coaches and players in awe of Laine’s hot goal scoring streak. Maurice spoke to Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com about the rookie’s impressive skills.
“I’ve never seen anyone score goals the way Laine does in practice, ever, in my 20 years. There are guys who are good shooters in practice but can’t seem to find a way to translate that into a game, but he is a gift. There’s no question about that. It’s a different shot. His eyes are up and he’s got the hands for it.”
As you can see, Laine is a one of a kind talent. It’s unclear what the rest of the season has in store for the young superstar. Judging by early impressions, it’s safe to assume Patrik Laine will set a few records this season.