The Journey: Players Scoring Their First NHL Goals

by Brad Phillips on November 11, 2017
  • The Journey
  • The Journey: Players Scoring Their First NHL Goals

There’s arguably no bigger “first” in a player’s career than scoring your first NHL goal. It signifies that you’ve arrived and made an impact. Sadly this is something I will never get to experience unless there is a team out there looking for a 34 year old with hand of stone (call me). But the following five players have all hit that important milestone.

 

Danton Heinen

This one stings for me personally. I grabbed Heinen in one of my pools after his freshman year at Denver University where he put up big numbers but foolishly dropped him after a slow start to his sophomore season. I’m really kicking myself for that now. Nine games into 2017-18 and Heinen has seven points, including his first two career goals against San Jose. The Langley B.C. native had been a frequent rider on the Providence-Boston shuttle this season, but it’s looking like his AHL days are over. Between grabbing Heinen in the fourth round and following that up by snatching Anders Bjork in the fifth, the 2014 draft is shaping up to be one for the ages for the Bruins.

 

Owen Tippett

The 10th overall pick from the 2017 draft, Tippett was a healthy scratch for Florida’s first five games but once he was inserted into the lineup in game six he wasted no time treating Panthers brass and fans to a one man shooting gallery. He fired an incredible seven shots on goal in just under 12 of ice time. With a debut like that it was only a matter of time until he scored and he did just that a couple weeks ago notching his first in an 8-3 shellacking of the Anaheim Ducks. This will be the first of many in the young man’s career. After seven games and an ugly minus-six rating, Tippett was recently send back to join the Mississauga Steelheads where he’ll no doubt terrorize opposing goalies and should factor in heavily to the Team Canada offense for the WJHC.

 

Kalle Kossila

Just two minutes after the previously-mentioned Owen Tippett scored his first, Anaheim’s Kalle Kossila answered with one of his own in the losing effort. While his NHL resumé is a little light at this point with two points in five games played, the former St. Cloud State scoring superstar had a dynamite NCAA career with 153 points in 157 games and finished sixth in the nation in scoring in his Senior year behind such notable names as Kyle Conner, J.T. Compher, Brock Boeser and Tyler Motte. He’s proven he can produce in the AHL as well with 48 points as a rookie last year and another six in the first five games of this campaign. Kossila is on the older side as a prospect, he’s 24, so he may not get as many chances as a younger prospect. However, with Ryan Kesler out until Christmas and Ryan Getzlaf out for two months, there’s opportunity for Kossila. He might be worth an add while he’s still relatively under the radar early in the season.

 

 

Chandler Stephenson

With a name that sounds like he belongs in British high society and not skating on a third line in the NHL, but that’s where Chandler Stephenson find himself. A little over a month ago it looked like Stephenson’s standing in Washington was in question, having been placed on waivers before the season began. A blazing hot start in the AHL with six points in as many games was too good for management to ignore and was called back up to the big club where he’s found some chemistry with Lars Eller and Tom Wilson. Stephenson’s been nearly as productive in the NHL as he was in the minors with four points in six games including his first goal against the Vancouver Canucks. It’s wasn’t a pretty one but it looks like a slap shot high glove in the box score.

 

That was one of two shots that Stephenson had that game and oddly hasn’t registered a shot in the five games since. He’s still finding ways to produce though as he’s assisted on three goals in his past three games. If he stays hot he could make a decent short term option as he’s likely to stick around until Andre Burakosvky returns.

 

Mike Amadio

 The most recent rook to find the back of the net for the first time is Mike Amadio of the LA Kings. A 2014 third-round pick out of Brampton, Amadio has proven that he has the ability to put the biscuit in the basket with 92 career OHL goals, including a whopping 50 in his final year. He parlayed this final year of junior hockey success into an impressive first professional season in the AHL with 41 points in 68 games. It’s not like he was tearing up the minors this year with only a couple of assists in five games but Kings brass called him up. After going pointless in his first three NHL games Amadio hit paydirt in his fourth games against the Leafs.

 

 

He’s still being used sparingly seeing only about seven minutes per game so the short-term prospects for him putting up fantasy relevant number are limited, and he may be doing the NHL-AHL shuffle a lot this year, but long term he’s a player I’m betting on.