60 goals and counting: Oilers’ Connor McDavid joins elite club
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid scored his 60th goal of the season Wednesday night. It came in overtime of Edmonton’s 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
The mark puts McDavid on a list with some elite company. He is the fourth active player to score 60 goals in a season and the second in as many seasons after Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews did it last year.
Here’s who else is on the list:
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Ovechkin would finish the season with 65 goals and 112 points, the most in the NHL that season. That mark also set the franchise record for goals. Ovechkin was the first player to reach 60 goals since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr both did it for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96.
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Stamkos hit 60 on the final day of the season. The 60 goals also led the league in goals that season. The total included five overtime goals, which is tied for the most in a season in league history.
Despite only playing 73 games that season due to a wrist injury, Matthews scored on a torrid pace to reach 60. Matthews’ feat makes him the top goal scorer in a season for a player born in the United States.
Back to McDavid. He is now on pace for 68 goals and 157 points, which would be the most goals since Lemieux scored 69 in 1995-96 and the most points since Lemieux’s 161 that same season.
McDavid, who is in his eighth season after being selected first overall by the Oilers in the 2015 NHL draft, is also on an amazing scoring pace. Only Lemieux in 1995-96, who did it in 62 games, reached the 60-goal mark faster in the last 30 seasons.
While Ovechkin, Stamkos and Matthews set franchise records for goals in a season in their 60-goal campaigns, McDavid will not. He happens to play for the same franchise that once had Wayne Gretzky.. The Great One had five seasons with more than 60 goals during his time in Edmonton. Gretzky had four seasons with 70 or more goals, and in the 1981-82 season, he set the NHL’s single-season record for goals scored with 92.
Should McDavid reach 70, he would be the first to reach that mark since Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny both did it in 1992-93.