Laine hits 100 goals before he can legally drink alcohol in U.S.

Getty
2 Comments

After scoring a ridiculous five goals in one game against the Blues on Saturday, Patrik Laine failed to generate a goal versus the Penguins on Tuesday. That slacker.

The Winnipeg Jets didn’t have to wait long to find out if Laine would continue what’s been a blistering streak (11 goals in four games before that rare quiet night), as the Finnish winger scored 1:43 into Thursday’s match against the Chicago Blackhawks.

It turns out that Laine hit some impressive milestones with this goal:

For one thing, it’s the 100th of his young NHL career. As a reminder, Laine is only 20, and he won’t turn 21 until April 19. He’ll have the rest of this season to climb the ranks of most goals for a player before turning 21, but he’s already in select company that includes (you guessed it?) Wayne Gretzky.

Laine hit 100 goals in what is his 179th career regular-season game (also adding 57 assists for 157 points), and eventually added another in Winnipeg’s 6-5 win against Chicago.

With two goals in that game, Laine is now at 21 for the season, putting him in the driver’s seat for the Maurice Richard Trophy.

This also continues an incredible Cy Young-level month for Laine: 17-1 (goals to assists) for 18 points in a mere 12 games.

As far as franchise history goes, Laine set a new Jets/Thrashers franchise record with 21 goals in his first 24 games. The previous mark was held by Ilya Kovalchuk, who managed 20 goals in 24.

***

Nikolaj Ehlers was the dazzling young Jets forward who collected the hat trick this time around, though. The timing was remarkable, as Ehlers brought attention to his hair for a good cause not long before that big performance:

There’s a strong chance Ehlers will show up in Thursday’s Buzzer, possibly as the first star. Check out the hat trick now:

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.