Maybe it was because it was the first full season in three years, but it felt as if plenty more players were reaching 70 points than we had seen in years, even though that wasn’t the case.
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One thing I’ve noted since I’ve been writing this column is that about a third of all players who reach the 70-point mark each season are reaching that mark for the first time. Last year, of the 50 players who notched 70 points, 18 made it for the first time, a total of 36 per cent rate.
Those 18 players cover all types of players. There are young defensemen (Cale Makar and Adam Fox), plus the veteran defenseman in his 30s (Roman Josi). There’s the power forward (Timo Meier) and the young forwards that we knew would get there soon (Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, William Nylander, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, Jordan Kyrou, Pavel Buchnevich and Robert Thomas), plus those that we almost gave up on ever reaching that mark (Sam Reinhart and Filip Forsberg).
There are also the “wtf” players, where no one saw 70-point campaigns coming (Nazem Kadri, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Jesper Bratt). Of everyone on that list, it’s the last four that are the most interesting. They are the hardest to predict, but this week we’