Ramblings: Looking for potential 50-goal scorers

Michael Clifford

2020-04-07

One bit of news from the NHL, reported by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, is that the NHL has at least floated the idea of finishing the 2019-20 season in North Dakota. Every game in North Dakota. There would obviously be a lot of logistics to figure out – hotels, travel, testing, quarantining away from family or bringing them along – not to mention how the problem of bringing in players from all over the world to a somewhat isolated state. What if someone brings the virus with them?

Anyway, this all seems so far-fetched right now. I appreciate the NHL is working on ways to resume the season, but it just seems to hard to fathom it actually happening in 2-3 months. I hope I'm wrong.

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On the heels of a good Ramblings from Dobber yesterday, I wanted to do a little hypothetical: how many forwards in the NHL right now are capable of 50-goal seasons? Each player is theoretically capable of such a campaign, but there are really only a couple dozen players we could look at and realistically envision 50 goals in a regular NHL season.

Included in this list are players we wouldn't necessarily peg as 50-goal scorers at the moment. We're not going to waste internet ink talking about guys who've done it (Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl) or guys that may have done it this year had the NHL season not ended (David Pastrnak and Auston Matthews).

I'll try to keep this to just five players, lest I start making cases for players I really don't think can get there.

 

Patrik Laine

This is probably going to be the most obvious one on the list, given that he has the seventh-most goals ever for a player by the end of their age-21 season, and that includes a "bad" 30-goal season in 2018-19 and a shortened 2019-20. He's undoubtedly a premier goal scorer in the NHL, and with all the hype around guys