Let’s check in on the NHL scoring race and see where things are headed a quarter of the way through the 2016-17 season.
At this point, the Art Ross Trophy still seems to be Connor McDavid‘s to lose as long as he stays in the lineup.
Thanks to his 10th goal of the season on Friday night in the Edmonton Oilers’ shootout loss to Arizona, McDavid maintained his lead in the NHL scoring race and now sits with 28 points through the first 22 games of the season.
That puts him on a pace for 104 points on the season.
If he maintains that current pace he would be just the fourth player since the start of the 2011-12 to reach the century mark, and only the sixth player to top 90 points.
Entering play on Tuesday, McDavid and Kucherov are the only players in the league that are currently on a pace to top 100 points, while Sidney Crosby is the only other player on a pace to top 90 points.
As scoring continues to be down across the league it is going to be yet another year where 90 and 100 point scorers are almost impossible to find.
Below are the players on pace for the 10 highest point totals this season given their current scoring rates. We are taking games missed into account here, so a player that has 12 points in 10 games or something similar isn’t going to be included if they can only play in 60-70 games. They just won’t be able to play in enough games to reach it.
- Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers — 28 points in 22 games. On pace for 104 points
- Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning — 26 points in 21 games. On pace for 100 points
- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins — 19 points in 15 games. On pace for 96 points
- Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues — 22 points in 21 games. On pace for 86 points
- Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens — 21 points in 21 games. On pace for 82 points
- Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets — 19 points in 19 games. On pace for 82 points
- Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins — 21 points in 21 games. On pace for 82 points
- Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets — 19 points in 19 games. On pace for 82 points
- Alex Wennberg, Columbus Blue Jackets — 19 points in 19 games. On pace for 82 points
- Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars — 22 points in 22 games. On pace for 82 points
Once you get beyond Seguin, the only other players in the league on pace for more than 80 points at this moment are Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. The next player in line after Scheifele is defenseman Brent Burns who is currently on a pace for 77 points.
Steven Stamkos would have been near the top of this list but with him sidelined for the next four months that eliminates him from the scoring race. With 20 points in 17 games he would have been on a 95-point pace over 82 games.
Crosby enters play on Saturday in 13th place in terms of total points, but that is only because he missed the start of the season due to a concussion. He is quickly climbing the leaderboard and given his current pace is probably going to be in the top-five sooner rather than later.
Eleven of the 12 players ahead of him have currently played in at least six more games than him.
At this same point last season there were three players on pace for 100 points (Kane, Seguin and Jamie Benn), while only one of them (Kane) was able to maintain that pace. It’s entirely possible (and given recent history, very likely) that at least one of McDavid, Kucherov or Crosby is going to see their current pace slow down and struggle to reach the 90-point mark. It wouldn’t be a shock if that happened to all of them.
Again, it’s something that has been done just five times since the start of the 2011 season.