David Booth of the Florida Panthers is tied for 24th in NHL scoring with 15, but is tied for 417th in assists with four. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
This week THN takes a look at the NHL’s Cy Young candidates; the players leading the way when it comes to goals scored as a percentage of points totalled. For our purposes, we’ll call it the Wendel Clark Award.
Clark played 15 full or partial NHL seasons, finishing with more goals than assists 11 times. For his career, nearly 60 percent of Clark’s points came on goals. During the 1985-86 season, Clark found the back of the net 34 times, accounting for an astounding 76 percent of his 45 total points, a figure only two players from this list are on pace to match.
Please note, only players with 12 or more goals this season — the top 60 — are eligible for the list. Ties are broken by the number of goals players would be on pace to score if they played a full 82-game schedule.
10. Bryan Little, Center, Atlanta, 19 goals, 12 assists
The super-sophomore is having a breakout season; he’s tied for sixth in goals, accounting for 61 percent of his points.
9. Patrick Sharp, Center, Chicago, 19-11
After a breakout season of 36 goals in 2007-08, Sharp’s is on pace for 45 this year, good for 63 percent of his offensive output.
8. Jeff Carter, Center, Philadelphia, 27-16
Carter’s goals total represents 63 percent of his scoring. He’s leading the Rocket Richard Trophy-race, but those pesky assists are piling up as well, hampering his chances to win the coveted Clark Award.
7. Alexander Frolov, Right Wing, Los Angeles, 16-9
Frolov’s goals work out to 35 for a full season, 64 percent of the 55 points he’s on pace to score.
6. Johan Franzen, Right Wing, Detroit, 17-9
If he could stay healthy, The Mule would be gunning for a 45-goal season. As it is, 65 percent of his points are coming via goals.
5. Loui Eriksson, Left Wing, Dallas, 18-8
The Kingsmen recorded their hit song Louie, Louie in 1963. Forty-five years later, Stars fans are chanting “Loui! Loui!” Eriksson’s goals total 69 percent of his offense and have him on pace to crack the 40-goal barrier.
4. Kyle Wellwood, Center, Vancouver, 13-5
The formerly beleaguered Wellwood cleared waivers before the season began, then started the year in the American League because he was out of shape. Of his 18 points to date, 72 percent are goals.
3. James Neal, Left Wing, Dallas, 12-4
The Star is tied for second in rookie goal-scoring and second in Stars goal-scoring. His goal scoring has been good for 75 percent of his offensive output.
2. Thomas Vanek, Left Wing, Buffalo, 25-7
Vanek is on pace for a 73-point season with 57 — or 78 percent — coming courtesy of his vulcanized volleys.
1. David Booth, Left Wing, Florida, 15-4
With 79 percent of his points coming by way of the goal, Booth is the slight favorite to walk away with THN’s Wendel Clark Award right now.
Have a safe and happy New Year everyone.
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