Rick Nash (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
When taking a look at the NHL’s top even strength goal scorers for the 2014-15 season, the usual suspects are present, but there are also a few young stars who are making some noise and solidifying their status as premier even strength goal scorers.
When taking a look at the NHL’s top even strength goal scorers for the 2014-15 season, the usual suspects are present, but there are also a few young stars who are making some noise and solidifying their status as premier even strength goal scorers. A rejuvenated Rick Nash is on pace for a career season and has reappeared among the league’s elite with 29 even strength goals (ESG). See who else stacks up against Nash as the top 10 five-on-five goal scorers so far this season:
10: Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) – 21 ESG
Known as one of the slickest and most fun players to watch in the NHL, Kane is enjoying another strong season playing in Chicago. Even though he has only ranked among the top 10 in even strength goals once in the past five seasons – when he scored 15 during the 2012-13 lockout shortened season – he is currently on pace for a career high in goals.
9: Mike Hoffman (Ottawa Senators) – 22 ESG
Hoffman has been a bright spot for the Ottawa Senators and one of the more pleasant stories of the 2014-15 season. With fewer than 100 games under his belt, the 25-year-old forward has come out of nowhere this season, scoring 22 even strength goals for the Senators to date.
8: Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) – 22 ESG
Since being traded to the Dallas Stars in 2013, Tyler Seguin’s game has taken a leap forward. Seguin has made his way into the top 10 for even strength goals in both of his seasons with the Stars. If he hadn’t recently missed 10 games with a knee injury, he’d likely be higher on this list.
7: Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning) – 23 ESG
With his numbers, many would suspect Kucherov was playing on the top line in Tampa Bay, but the 21-year-old Russian has settled in perfectly on Tampa’s second line. Kucherov has tallied 23 even strength goals and ranks among the league’s best in plus-minus (+33) in his sophomore season.
6: Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks) – 24 ESG
It’s no surprise to see Corey Perry’s name on this list. Anaheim’s scoring winger has been among the league’s top even strength goal scorers in the past five seasons. He topped the list in 2010-11 (32) and in 2013-14 (35).
5: Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) – 24 ESG
Ovechkin has been a scoring machine since making his debut in the NHL a decade ago. At just 29 years old, he is still in his prime and seems somewhat rejuvenated playing on a Capitals team currently holding on to a wild-card position. If he stays on the top 10, it will mark his fourth season in a row on this list.
4: Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens) – 26 ESG
With 26 even strength goals so far this season, Pacioretty ranks among the best. It’s not unfamiliar territory for the winger, who has cracked the top 10 twice before in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
3: Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning) – 26 ESG
As one of the NHL’s most gifted natural goal-scorers, Stamkos has ranked among the top in this category numerous times, including in 2011-12 when he ranked first with 48 even strength goals.
2: Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues) – 26 ESG
The 23-year-old Tarasenko has really come out as an offensive force for the Blues this season. Of his 32 goals to date, 26 have come in five-on-five situations.
1: Rick Nash (New York Rangers) – 29 ESG
Enjoying his best season since moving to the Big Apple, Rick Nash has regained his scoring touch. In 62 games thus far, he has scored 29 even strength goals and is sporting a solid +23.