How Difficult is 700 Goals

The March to 500 and beyond

To reach the 500 goal milestone it takes a subtle combination of above average ability to score goals and a some career stability.

600 goals takes a bit more of a generational goal scoring touch and a some career longevity.

700 goals is into the all-time elite scorers and an charting a unique career path.

How does this measure out?

45 players all-time with 500 or more goals
20 players all-time with 600 goals or more
8 players all-time with 700 goals

347 players all-time with 1,000 or more games played
113 players all-time with 1,200 or more games played
39 players all-time with 1,400 or more games played

55 players with above a .450 career goals per game average, which is a pretty good scorerer
36 players above .475
19 players all time with a career .500 average which is a goal every other game, which is a a very good scorer, only 7 sustained it over 1,000 games
17 players above .525, only 6 sustained it over 1,000 games
13 players above .550, only 5 sustained it over 1,000 games
9 players above .575, only 4 sustained it over 1,000 games
6 players above .600, only 2 who sustained it over 1,000 games
4 players above .700, Lemieux managed it 915 games, Bossy 752

Knowing that info about goal scoring, let’s assume .500 is a good target goals per game average:

A 500 goal career at a .500 average takes 1,000 games or 12.195 seasons at 82 games.

A 600 goal career at a .500 average takes 1,200 games or 14.63 seasons at 82 games

A 700 goal career at .500 average, or a goal every other game, take 1,400 games or 17.07 seasons of 82 games, or almost a 40 goal per season average

Alternatively, we can look at goals per season rather than goals per game:

500 goals is broken down as
8.34 seasons of 60 goals
10 seasons of 50 goals
12.5 seasons of 40 goals
16.67 seasons of 30 goals
25 seasons of 20 goals

600 goals breaks down as
10 seasons of 60 goals
12 seasons of 50 goals
15 seasons of 40 goals
20 seasons of 30 goals

700 goals breaks down as
11.66 seasons of 60 goals
14 seasons of 50 goals
17.5 seasons of 40 goals
23.33 seasons of 30 goals

And, knowing that about average goals a season, here’s some perspective on how difficult it is to actually achieve those totals

60 goal seasons
39 Players with 60 goal seasons
8 players with multiple 60 goal seasons
2 players hold the record, each 5 times (Bossy & Gretzky)

50 goal seasons
197 Players with 50 Goal Seasons
45 players with multiple 50 goal seasons
11 players achieved at least 5 times
2 players are tied for the most with 9 (Bossy & Gretzky)

40 goal seasons
240 Players with 40 Goal Seasons
131 players with multiple 40 goal seasons
36 players achieved it at least 5 times
4 players achieved it at least 10 times
1 hold the record with 12 (Gretzky)

30 goal seasons
397 Players with 30 Goal Seasons
146 players achieved it at least 5 times
27 players achieved it at least 10 times
3 players achieved it at least 15 times
1 holds the record with 17 (Gartner)

This is what makes what Ovechkin’s done in getting to 700 so, so intriguing… since he was second fastest to 700 behind Wayne Gretzky, fastest pace between 600-700, Top 15 fastest pace to clear any 100 interval (154 games)

Ovechkin Stats to Date

1143 Regular Seasons Games, T152 with Eric Desjardins
1272 All Career Games Played, T144 with Brad Richards

700 All Situations Regular Season NHL Goals #8 All Time
437 Even Strength Goals, T10 with Bobby Hull
259 Power Play Goals, #3 All Time
110 Game Winning Goals, T4 with Selanne & Brett Hull
243 Multi Goal Games, T5 with Phil Esposito
27 Hat Tricks, #8 All Time
15 20 Goal Seasons, T21 with Patrick Marleau, Marian Hossa, Steve Yzerman, Joe Nieuwendyk, Keith Tkachuk, Frank Mahovlich, Gilbert Perreault
15 Consecutive 20 Goal Seasons, T8 with Mike Gartner
15 30 Goal Seasons, T2 with Jaromir Jagr
15 Consecutive 30 Goal Seasons, T1 with Mike Gartner an Jaromir Jagr
11 40 Goal Seasons, #2
5 Consecutive 40 Goal Seasons (2005-06 to 2009-10), T14 with Dino Ciccarelli, Marcel Dionne, Dale Hawerchuk, John LeClair, Rick Middleton
3 Consecutive 40 Goal Seasons (2x: 2013-14 to 2015-16 and again 2017-18 to 2019-20), T31 with 21 other players
8 50 Goal Seasons, #3
3 Consecutive 50 Goal Seasons (2x: 2007-08 to 2009-10 and again 2013-14 to 2015-16), T11 with John LeClair, Mario Lemieux, Rick Vaive
765 All Career Goals, #8

5516 All Situations Regular Season Shots on Goal, #3 All Time

1270 All Situations Regular Season Points, #37
1821 Goals On Ice For, T43 with Mats Sundin

570 Assists, T106 with Shane Doan & Frank Mahovlich
533.73 Goals Created, #21

Comparing some stats

513 minimum total multi-goal games goals from 243 Multi Goal Games where 27 are Hat Tricks (81 hat trick goals plus 432 other multi-goal games goals) is good enough for T40 All Time with Jeremy Roenick

437 Even Strength Goals as All Situations goals would be good enough for #67 All Time, T69 with Pavel Bure and Rick Nash. It’s more goals than the career output so far of contemporaries Eric Staal, and…

428 Goals scored during 8 seasons at-or-above 50 Goals as All Situations Goals would be good enough for T76 All time with Yvan Cournoyer. It’s more goals than the career output so far of contemporaries Steven Stamkos, Joe Thornton, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Jeff Carter, Corey Perry, Thomas Vanek and Phil Kessel

350 Goals, half Ovi’s career output as All Situations goals would be T152 with Patrice Bergeron as well as also being better than the career output of contemporaries John Tavares, Jonathan Toews, Jason Spezza, Anze Kopitar, and Scott Hartnell

274 Goals scored during 7 seasons below 50 Goals as All Situations Goals would be good enough T246 All Time with Bryan Smolinski, Ron Duguay, Murray Oliver. It’s more goals than the career output so far of contemporaries of Ryan Getzlaf, Matt Cullen, Chris Kunitz and Blake Wheeler

259 Power Play Goals as All Situations Goals would be good enough for T282 with Dmitri Khristich. It’s more goals than the career output so far of contemporaries Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Loui Eriksson, Paul Stastny, Bobby Ryan, Andrew Ladd, James van Riemsdyk, Alexander Steen, David Backes and Matt Duchene.

187 goals scored outside of multi-goal games for Ovi as All Situations Goals would be good enough for T539 with Adam Creighton, Greg Paslawski, John Cullen, Johan Franzén, Bryan Hextall. One behind the current career output of Nathan MacKinnon and greater than the career output of contemporaries Derick Brassard, Troy Brouwer, Adam Henrique, Adam Henrique, Artem Anisimov, Michael Grabner and Brayden Schenn

The Post-2004 Lockout Era

The 2004-2005 season was lost during the work stoppage and the subsequent CBA substantially changed how modern hockey is played both in rules and team construction. So, we’ll use that as a factor in comparing players from different eras.

All Time list of player’s who’s careers spanned into the post-2004 lockout era:

700+:
Jaromír Jágr: 766 goals in 1733 games, 229 goals in 706 games post lockout

600+:
Steve Yzerman: 692 goals in 1514 games, 14 goals in 61 games post lockout
Teemu Selänne: 684 in 1451, 232 in 572 post lockout
Luc Robitaille 668 in 1431, 15 in 65 post lockout
Brendan Shanahan 656 in 1524, 98 in 256 post lockout
Dave Andreychuk 640 in 1639, 6 in 42 post lockout
Jarome Iginla 625 in 1554, 403 in 1052 post lockout
Joe Sakic 625 in 1378, 83 in 223 post lockout

500+:
Mark Recchi 577 goals in 1652 games, 186 goals in 714 games post lock out
Mats Sundin 564 in 1346 games, 99 in 260 post lock out
Joe Nieuwendyk 564 in 1257, 31 in 80 post lock out
Mike Modano 561 in 1499, 103 in 398 post lockout
Keith Tkachuk 538 in 1201, 134 in 424 post lockout
Marian Hossa 525 in 1309, 366 in 914 post lock out
Pierre Turgeon 515 in 1294, 20 in 79 post lockout
Jeremy Roenick 513 in 1363, 38 in 239 post lockout
Peter Bondra 503 in 1081, 26 in 97 post lock out

Among currently active players only Patrick Marleau, other than Ovi, has breached the 500 goal milestone
At the time I pulled the numbers it was 561 in 1709, 408 in 1151 post lock out

400+ rounding out the top 100 goal scorers of all time:
Sergi Federov 483 in 1248, 52 of 260 post lock out
Alexander Mogilny 473 in 990, 12 in 34 post lock out
Rod Brind’Amour 542 in 1484, 101 in 375 post lock out
Daniel Alfredsson 444 in 1246, 225 of 617 post lock out
Gary Roberts 438 in 1224, 41 in 195 post lockout
Rick Nash 437 in 1060, 400 in 977 post lockout
Alex Kovalev 430 in 1316, 154 in 541 post lockout
Bill Guerin 429 in 1263, 114 in 384 post lockout
Owen Nolan 422 in 1200, 73 in 285 post lockout
Vincent Lecavalier 421 in 1212, 275 in 745 post lockout
Jason Arnott 417 in 1244, 173 in 501 post lockout
Tony Amonte 416 in 1174, 24 in 161 post lockout
Patrik Elias 408 in 1240, 201 in 682 post lockout
Marion Gaborik 407 in 1035, 311 in 740 post lockout
John LeClair 406 in 967, 24 in 94 post lockout
Shane Doan 402 in 1540, 260 in 892 post lockout
Paul Kariya 402 in 989, 91 in 332 post lockout

And among active players who are over 400 goals at the time I pulled these numbers:
Sidney Crosby 456 goals in 970 games all post lockout
Ilya Kovalchuk 442 in 914, 334 in 687 post lockout
Eric Stall 434 in 1230, 423 in 1148 post lockout
Joe Thornton 417 in 1628, 257 in 1119 post lockout
Steven Stamkos 422 in 802 all post lockout
Evgeni Malkin 412 in 899 all post lockout

50 Goal Seasons

Reaching 50 goals is a rarity. How rare?

Ovechkin has reached it 8 times in his career of 15 seasons, 53.3% of the time.

Only two other players in history have done it more, Gretzky and Bossy, both with 9. Ovi is currently on pace potentially to reach it again this season.

Comparatively in the post-2004 lockout era:

22 times Players have reached 50 goal seasons up to 2018-19
36.36% of the total times are Ovechkin 50 goal seasons
12 different players reached 50 goals including Ovi
4 seasons Ovechkin was the only player to reach 50 goals
2 seasons zero players reached 50 goals (excluding the short season)
2 seasons players reached 50 goals without Ovi joining them
2 players breached 60 goals, one of which was Ovi

Since the Post-2004 Lockout 50 goal seasons break down like this:

2018-19: 2 from Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl
2017-18: 0
2016-17: 0
2015-16: 1 from Ovechkin
2014-15: 1 from Ovechkin
2013-14: 1 from Ovechkin
2012-13: lockout shortened season, Ovi was the only 30 goal scorer though
2011-12: 2 from Steven Stamkos (60) and Evgeni Malkin
2010-11: 1 from Corey Perry
2009-10: 3 from Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby
2008-09: 1 from Ovechkin
2007-08: 3 from Ovechkin (65), Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Iginla
2006-07: 2 from Vincent Lecavalier and Dany Heatley
2005-06: 5 from Jonathan Cheechoo, Jaromir Jagr, Ilya Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, and Dany Heatley

It’s not easy to score 50 goals in this era in general and really difficult to do it multiple times.

There are 16 50+ goal seasons in the post-2004 lockout era by players with multiple 50+ goal seasons in their career. 8 of those 50 goal seasons belong to Ovi. The other 8 are divided up among the 5 following players:

3 of 24 for Jaromir Jagr, 12.5%, 1 post lockout
2 of 12 for Steven Stamkos, 16.7%
2 of 13 for Danny Heatley, 15.4%, both post lockout
2 of 13 for Ilya Kovalchuk, 15.4%, both post lockout
2 of 20 for Jarome Iginla, 10%, 1 post lockout

Here’s how 50 goal seasons break down overall for players who’s careers crossed into the post-lockout era. However none of these players achieved their 50-goal seasons in the post-lockout era

5 of 22 for Steve Yzerman, 22.7%
3 of 16 for John LeClair, 31.3%
3 of 17 for Teemu Selanne, 17.6%
2 of 16 for Peter Bondra, 12.5%
2 of 16 for Alexander Mogilny, 12.5%
2 of 18 for Keith Tkachuk, 11.1%
2 of 20 for Joe Nieuwendyk, 10%
2 of 20 for Jeremy Roenick, 10%
2 of 20 for Joe Sakic, 10%
2 of 21 for Brendan Shanahan, 9.5%
2 of 23 for Dave Andreychuk, 8.7%
1 of 15 for Paul Kariya, 6.7%
1 of 17 for Vincent Lecavalier, 5.9%
1 of 18 for Sergei Fedorov, 5.5%
1 of 19 for Pierre Turgeon, 5.3%
1 of 21 for Mike Modano, 4.8%
1 of 22 for Mark Recchi, 4.5%

Of the other players who reached 50 post-lockout
1 of 7 for Jonathan Cheechoo, 14.28%, retired
1 of 6 for Leon Draisaitl, 16.7%, with 36 so far this season
1 of 14 for Evgeni Malkin, 7.1%, with 21 so far this season
1 of 15 for Sidney Crosby, 6.7%, with 13 so far this season
1 of 15 for Corey Perry, 6.7%, with 5 so far this season

David Pastrnak has 45 so far this seasons looking for his first in 6 seasons
Auston Matthews has 43 so far this season looking for his first in 4 seasons

And, that’s it. That’s the entire 50 goal scoring group in the modern era. Other than Ovechkin there’s not a lot of 50 goal scoring going on.

40-Goal Seasons

40 goals is not a milestone easy to come by either.

78 times Players have reached 40 goal seasons up to 2018-19
12.82% of the total times are Ovechkin 40 goal seasons
6 seasons 5 or fewer players reached the mark, 3 of which included Ovechkin
3 seasons players reached 40 goals without Ovi joining them, all three seasons fewer than 5 players total reached 40

Since the Post-2004 Lockout 40 goal seasons break down like this:

2018-19: 13 from Ovechkin, Leon Draisaitl, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, Cam Atkinson, Alex DeBrincat, Nikita Kucherov, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Brayden Point, Jake Guentzel, and Jeff Skinner
2017-18: 8 from Ovechkin, Patrik Laine, William Karlsson, Evgeni Malkin, Eric Staal, Connor McDavid, Anders Lee, and Tyler Seguin
2016-17: 3 from Sidney Crosby, Nikita Kucherov, and Auston Matthews
2015-16: 4 from Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn, and Vladimir Tarasenko
2014-15: 3 from Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and Rick Nash
2013-14: 3 from Ovechkin, Corey Perry, and Joe Pavelski
2012-13: lockout shortened season, Ovi was the only 30 goal scorer though
2011-12: 4 from Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Gaborik, and James Neal
2010-11: 5 from Corey Perry, Steven Stamkos, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Kesler, and Daniel Sedin
2009-10: 7 from Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Marleau, Marian Gaborik, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Alexander Semin
2008-09: 8 from Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Rick Nash, Eric Staal, and Thomas Vanek
2007-08: 10 from Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin, Brad Boyes, Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Gaborik, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson
2006-07: 10 from Vincent Lecavalier, Dany Heatley, Teemu Selanne, Ovechkin, Marian Hossa, Martin St. Louis, Thomas Vanek, Ilya Kovalchuk, Simon Gagne and Jason Blake
2005-06: 11 from Jonathan Cheechoo, Jaromir Jagr, Ilya Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Dany Heatley, Brian Gionta, Simon Gagne, Eric Staal, Daniel Alfredsson, Teemu Selanne, Brendan Shanahan

And, scoring 30 goals consistently isn’t as common as you might think either.

Right now it’s Ovi with 11 of 15 seasons, 73.3% of the time reaching at least 40 goals, including reaching it this season.

Of players who’s careers spanned into the post-lockout era who achieved it a minimum of 3 times:
7 of 21 for Teemu Selanne, 33.3%, 2 post lockout
6 of 21 for Brendan Shanahan, 28.6%, none post lockout
6 of 22 for Steve Yzerman, 27.3%, none post lockout
6 of 24 for Jaromir Jagr, 25%, 1 post lockout
5 of 16 for John LeClair, 31.3%, none post lockout
5 of 20 for Joe Sakic, 25%, none post lockout
4 of 13 for Dany Heatley, 30.8%, 3 post lockout
4 of 16 for Peter Bondra, 25%, none post lockout
4 of 18 for Keith Tkachuk, 22.2%, none post lockout
4 of 20 for Jarome Iginla, 20%, 2 post lockout
4 of 20 for Joe Nieuwendyk, 20%, none post lockout
4 of 20 for Jeremy Roenick, 20%, none post lockout
4 of 22 for Mark Recchi, 18.2%, none post lockout
4 of 23 for Dave Andreychuk, 17.4%, none post lockout
3 of 15 for Tony Amonte, 20%, none post lockout
3 of 15 for Paul Kariya, 20%, none post lockout
3 of 15 for Rick Nash, 20%, 2 post lockout
3 of 15 for Markus Naslund, 20%, none post lockout
3 of 16 for Alexander Mogilny, 18.8%, none post lockout
3 of 17 for Marian Gaborik, 17.6%, 2 post lockout
3 of 18 for Mats Sundin, 16.7%, none post lockout
3 of 19 for Marian Hossa, 15.8%

And, of players currently on the ice who have achieved 40 goals more than once:
6 of 13 for Ilya Kovalchuk, 46.2%, 4 post lockout, with 9 goals so far this season
5 of 12 for Steven Stamkos, 41.6% with 29 goals so far this season
3 of 14 for Evgeni Malkin, 21.4% with 21 goals so far this season
3 of 16 for Eric Staal, 18.8%, all 3 post lockout, with 17 goals so far this season
2 of 4 for Auston Matthews, 50% having already reached it this season
2 of 5 for Connor McDavid, 40% with 31 goals so far this season
2 of 7 for Nikita Kucherov 28.6% with 29 goals so far this season
2 of 13 for Patrick Kane, 15.4% with 27 goals so far this season
2 of 15 for Sidney Crosby, 13.3%, with 13 goals so far this season
2 of 15 for Corey Perry, 13.3%, with 5 goals so far this season

1 of 6 for Leon Draisaitl with 36 goals so far this season
1 of 7 for Nathan MacKinnon with 33 goals so far this season

Sebastian Aho has 35 goals and is looking for his first in 4 seasons
Jack Eichel had 35 and is looking for his first in 5 seasons

Thats it. That’s all the 40 goal scorers of note right now. Other than Ovechkin there’s not a lot of consistent 40 goal scoring going on.

30-goal seasons

We tend to take for granted 30-goal scorers. However, even 30 goals doesn’t occur as often as you’d probably guess.

2018-19: 45 Players
2017-18: 32 Players
2016-17: 26 Players
2015-16: 28 Players
2014-15: 15 Players
2013-14: 21 Players
2012-13: lockout shortened season, Ovi was the only 30 goal scorer though
2011-12: 30 Players
2010-11: 29 Players
2009-10: 24 Players
2008-09: 39 Players
2007-08: 28 Players
2006-07: 42 Players
2005-06: 47 Players

And, scoring 30 goals consistently isn’t as common as you might think either.

15 of 15 seasons for Ovechkin, or 100% of his career to date, which was all in the post lockout era

Of players who’s careers spanned into the post-lockout era:
15 of 24 seasons for Jagr, 62.5%, 2 post lockout
13 of 18 for Mats Sundin, 72.2%, 2 post lockout
12 of 20 for Jarome Iginla, 60%, 8 post lockout
12 of 21 for Brendan Shanahan, 57.1%, 1 post lockout
11 of 22 for Steve Yzerman, 50%, none post lockout
10 of 18 for Sergei Fedorov, 55.5%, none post lockout
10 of 21 for Teemu Selanne 47.6%, 3 post lockout
9 of 16 for Peter Bondra, 56.3%, none post lockout
9 of 18 for Keith Tkachuk, 50%, none post lockout
9 of 19 for Pierre Turgeon, 47.4%, none post lockout
9 of 20 for Joe Sakic, 45%, 2 post lockout
9 of 21 for Mike Modano, 42.8%, none post lockout
9 of 23 for Dave Andreychuk, 39.1%, none post lockout
8 of 15 for Tony Amonte, 53.3%, none post lockout
8 of 15 for Rick Nash, 53.3%, all 8 post lockout
8 of 16 for Alexander Mogilny. 50%, none post lockout
8 of 19 for Marian Hossa, 42%, 4 post lockout
8 of 20 for Joe Nieuwendyk, 40%, none post lockout
7 of 15 for Paul Kariya, 46.7%, 1 post lockout
7 of 16 for Martin St. Louis 43.7%, 4 post lockout
7 of 17 for Marian Gaborik, 41.2%, 4 post lockout
7 of 20 for Jeremy Roenick, 35%, none post lockout
7 of 22 for Mark Recchi, 31.8%, none post lockout
6 of 12 for Alexei Yashin, 50%, none post lockout
6 of 13 for Dany Heatley, 46.2%, 5 post lockout
6 of 15 for Markus Naslund, 40%, 1 post lockout
6 of 18 for Owen Nolan, 33.3%, none post lockout
5 of 14 for Milan Hejduk, 35.7%, 1 post lockout
5 of 16 for John LeClair, 31.3%, none post lockout
5 of 17 for Vincent Lecavalier, 29.4%, 3 post lockout
5 of 20 for Rod Brind’Amour, 25%, none post lockout

and, of players currently on the ice having achieved it a minimum of 5 times:
9 of 13 for Ilya Kovalchuk, 69.2%, 7 post lockout
9 of 15 for Sidney Crosby, 60%, all 9 post lockout
7 of 22 for Patrick Marleau, 31.8%, all 7 post lockout
6 of 12 for Steven Stamkos, 50%, all 6 post lockout
6 of 14 for Phil Kessel, 42.9%, all 6 post lockout
6 of 14 for Evgeni Malkin, 42.9%, all 6 post lockout
6 of 15 for Zach Parise, 40%, all 6 post lockout
6 of 15 for Corey Perry, 40%, all 6 post lockout
6 of 16 for Eric Staal, 37.5%, all 6 post lockout
5 of 8 for Vladimir Tarasenko, 62.5%, all 5 post lockout
5 of 10 for Tyler Seguin, 50%, all 5 post lockout
5 of 11 for John Tavares, 45.5%, all 5 post lockout
5 of 12 for Max Pacioretty, 41.7%, all 5 post lockout
5 of 14 for Joe Pavelski, 35.7%, all 5 post lockout
5 of 16 for Patrice Bergeron, 31.3%, all 5 post lockout
5 of 17 for Jason Spezza, 29.4%, all 5 post lockout

There’s several players who should add to their totals this season, but the list itself isn’t expanding too much as the season rolls along

Who’s Next of Ovi’s Generation

There’s a short list of players on the ice now having reached the 400 goal milestone so, for some further perspective, let’s revisit the players currently “within reach” of 500 and look to see how viable that and the 600 milestones are for each:

Sydney Crosby 456 goals over 970 games in 15 seasons so far at age 32
500 goals seems like a forgone conclusion at this point
600 is 135 more goals away, so, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility for Crosby to play through is mid-30s and reach it 600 if he stays around career average healthy and doesn’t drop off much goal production wise:

3.375 seasons of 40 goals
4.5 seasons of 30 goals, close to Crosby’s career pace of 32.57 goals per season
6.75 seasons of 20 goals

.500 pace, as a goal every other game – a pace greater than Crosby’s career average
270 games required
3.29 more seasons of 82 games
3.46 more seasons averaging 78 games as Crosby’s average over previous 5 seasons
4.09 more seasons of 66 games as Crosby’s 14 year career average

0.470 pace as Crosby’s career average
288 games required
3.51 more seasons of 82 games
3.69 more seasons of 78 games
4.36 more seasons of 66 games

.393 as Crosby’s average the last three seasons, inclusive of this season-to-date
344 games required
4.2 more seasons of 82 games
4.41 more seasons of 78 games
5.21 more seasons of 66 games

Ilya Kovalchuk 442 goals over 914 games over 13 years so far at age 36.
500 is 58 goals to go and is probably a stretch but might be possible depending on where he lands next. While a career .484 pace would make it achievable, since returning from the KHL his pace is a meager .225 (15 goals over 98 games) with 58 more goals to go.

1.45 seasons of 40 goals
1.93 seasons of 30 goals
2.9 seasons of 20 goals

Eric Staal 434 goals over 1230 games over 16 years so far at age 35
500 is probably reasonable if he wants to play into his late 30s and maintains a similar pace to his career.

1.65 40 goal seasons
2.2 30 goal seasons
3.3 20 goal seasons

.353 career pace for Staal
169 more games
2.06 more seasons at 82 games
2.17 more seasons at 78 games which is not far from his career average
2.41 more seasons at 70 games, or aprox 85% of the seasons played

Steven Stamkos 419 goals over 798 games over 12 years so far
500 should be achievable
600 is 181 goals away. It’s not outside of conceivable he can do it as well.

4.525 40 goal seasons
6.03 30 goal seasons
9.05 20 goal seasons

.525 as Stamkos career GPG average
345 games required
4.2 more seasons of 82 games
4.42 more seasons of 78 games, aprox Stammers average over his last 3 full seasons
5.66 more seasons of 61 games as Stamkos’ 11-year career average

.500 as a goal every other game
362 games required
4.42 more seasons of 82 games
4.64 more seasons of 78 games
5.93 more seasons of 61 games

0.462 as Stamkos average the last three seasons, inclusive of this season-to-date
392 more games
4.78 more seasons of 82 games
5.03 more seasons of 78 games
6.43 more seasons of 61 games

Joe Thornton 415 goals over 1622 games over 22 years at age 40
500 is well out of reach but it’s been an admirable career for Jumbo nonetheless

Evgeni Malkin 409 goals over 894 games over 14 years at age 33
500 seems reasonable as a target for his age and pace

2.275 40 goal seasons
3.03 30 goal seasons
4.55 20 goal seasons

The Next Generation’s Milestones

Predicting what will happen in the future of the sport is difficult. Influencers could include:
Rule changes, both year-to-year and as an effect of new CBAs, etc.
Technology changes, such as equiptment shooters and goalies; player training; tools for analysis and player optimization; etc.
Trends such as from how general managers and front offices build teams; in how coaches manage strategies and styles of play; in what’s socially important or marketable to the league; etc.
and, of course, the effects of individual player durability and goal scoring prowess as they move through their aging curve, as opposing teams become more aware of them, etc.

Regardless, there’s some simple truths to reaching some of these milestones in that the math doesn’t change:
500 goals is still 10 seasons of 50 goals or 12.5 of 40 goals and as we’ve annotated above neither of those milestones are not easy to come by themselves a single time, forget about the multitudes required to reach 500 quick enough to make 600 or 700 even possible.

Auston Matthews 151 goals over 269 games in 4+ years at age 22
459 goals remaining to 600
549 goals remaining to 700

There’s not a lot of a book on Matthews so far but of everyone he has the most consistent career numbers to work with:
37 goals per season average in his first three seasons
18.92 seasons in total to reach 700 goals at this pace
His GPS will increase with his productivity this season to an average right around 40 having reached 40 so far this season

10.98 seasons of 50 goals
13.725 seasons of 40 goals
18.3 seasons of 30 goals

That would put him there mid-to-late 30s.

Here’s how that translates as a path to 700:

.600 is Ovi’s career average rounded out for ease of the math and now the benchmark for a 700 goal scorer in this era
915 more games are required
11.15 more seasons of 82 games
11.73 more seasons using the 78 games average we’ve touched on before
12.45 using 73.5 using Matthews career-to-date (with an 82 game assumption for the current season)

0.56 career to date according to hockey reference for Matthews
981 games required
11.96 more seasons of 82 games
12.58 more seasons of 78 games
13.35 more seasons of 73.5 games

.525 is Stamkos career average rounded out for ease of the math (I used Stammer because of all the current player’s he’s maintained the highest career GPG rate over the longest period of time outside of Ovi)
1,046 games required
12.76 more seasons of 82 games
13.41 more seasons of 78 games
14.23 more seasons of 73.5 games

.500 in essence is a goal ever other game
1,098 games required
13.39 more seasons of 82 games
14.07 more seasons of 78 games
15.95 more seasons of 73.5 games

David Pastrnak 173 goals over 378 games over 5+ seasons at age 23
427 more to go to 600

600 certainly not unattainable with 9 more seasons as something of a “best” case and like 15 as a “worst” with a lot of feasible scenarios around 12 seasons or dead-on mid-30s at 35.

8.54 season of 50 goals
10.675 seasons of 40 goals
14.23 seasons of 30 goals

.637 as Pasta’s pace (79 goals on 124 games) over last season plus this to date. Seems unsustainable but let’s roll with it for sake of argument since that’s when he seemed to have found his “scoring touch”
671 more games
8.18 more seasons at 82 games
8.6 more seasons at 78 games for a season since it’s come up before in my calculations for other players
10.48 more seasons using 64 as Pasta’s 5 year career previous to this season

.550 rounded out for simplicity of the math which is pretty close to Matthew’s career average so far. It’s part way between Ovi and Stammer as the two best GPG rates from that era
777 more games
9.48 more seasons at 82 games
9.96 more seasons at 78 games
12.14 more seasons at 64 games

.500 pace
854 more games
10.42 more seasons at 82 games
10.95 more seasons at 78 games
13.35 more seasons at 64 games

.458 career to date according to hockey reference for Pasta
933 more games
11.38 more seasons at 82 games
11.96 more seasons at 78 games
14.58 more seasons at 64 games

Conner McDavid 158 goals over 342 games over 4+ seasons at 23 years old.
442 more goals to 600.

He can do it as a “best” case in 10 more seasons or “worst” pushing 14 more, with mid-30s being generally reasonable based on his durability to date.

8.84 seasons of 50 goals
11.05 seasons of 40 goals
14.73 seasons of 30 goals

.533 (71 goals on 133 games) over last season plus this to date. Could be the new normal for him, a bit above Stammer’s career numbers
830 more games
10.12 more seasons at 82 games
10.64 more seasons ay 78 games. Tossing 19 year old season of 45 games he’s been a consistent full season player, 78 seems fair since it’s come up before
11.86 at 70 games average, just for a bottom number comparison, it’s roughly 85% of an 82 game season

.500 pace (a goal every other game)
884 more games
10.78 more seasons at 82 games
11.33 more seasons at 78 games
12.63 more seasons at 70 games

.462 career to date according to hockey reference for McDavid
957 more games
11.67 more seasons at 82 games
12.27 more seasons at 78 games
13.67 more seasons at 70 games

Patrik Laine 135 goals over 293 games over 3+ seasons at age 21
466 more goals to 600

The range here is somewhere between 10 and 15 seasons, but is tough because there’s really only 3 seasons to work with leaving a lot of variables to consider, however early to mid-30s if all went well and an outside chance of 700, but it would have to be very sustainable scoring and some solid durability to get there and we just don’t know enough about either with Laine yet.

9.32 50 goal seasons
11.65 40 goal seasons
15.53 30 goal seasons

.536 representing Laine’s best single season pace (44 on 82 in 2017-18), a bit above Stammer and below Matthews
870 more games
10.61 more seasons at 82 games
11.15 more seasons at 78 games which I’ve used in a number of calculations now
12,43 more season at 70 games average, just for a bottom number comparison, it’s roughly 85% of an 82 game season

.500 pace as a goal every other game
932 more games
11.37 more seasons at 82 games
11.95 more seasons at 78 games
13.32 more seasons at 70 games

.457 career to date according to hockey reference for Laine
1020 more games
12.44 more seasons at 82 games
13.98 more seasons at 78 games
14.57 more seasons at 70 games

Ovi’s Next Milestones

Much ink has been spilled about the possibility of Ovi possessing the type of skill and longevity to have the opportunity at reaching some pretty extraordinary places in the record books. Here’s a few upcoming related to goal scoring

8 All Situations Goals, T7 All Time with Mike Gartner at 708; 9th 50 Goal Season T1 with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy; Back-to-back 50 Goal Seasons T15 for All time consecutive with 15 other players
17 AS Goals, T6 Phil Esposito at 713
31 AS Goals, T5 Marcel Dionne at 731
41 AS Goals, T4 Brett Hull at 741

66 AS Goals, T3 Jaromir Jagr at 866
101 AS Goals, T2 Gordie Howe at 801
194 AS Goals, T1 Wayne Gretzky at 894

3 Even Strength Goals, T9 Steve Yzerman at 440
11 ES Goals, T8 Phil Esposito at 448
15 ES Goals T7 Mark Messier at 452
19 ES Goals T6 Brett Hull at 456
30 ES Goals T5 Mike Gartner at 467

40 ES Goals T4 Marcel Dionne at 477
63 for 500 ES Goals Milestone
101 ES Goals T3 Jaromir Jagr at 538

6 Power Play Goals, T2 Brett Hull at 265

15 PP Goals, T1 Dave Andreychuk at 274
41 for 300 PP Goals Milestone

4 Multi-goal Games, T4 Gordie Howe at 147
11 MG Games, T3 Mario Lemieux 154

15 MG Games, T2 Brett Hull 158
46 MG Games, T1 Wayne Gretzky 189

1 Hat Trick, T6 Bobby Hull and Marcel Dionne at 28
5 Hat Trick, T5 Phil Esposito at 32

6 Hat Trick, T4 Brett Hull at 33
12 Hat Trick, T3 Mike Bossy at 39
13 Hat Trick, T2 Mario Lemieux at 40

2 30 Goal seasons T1 Mike Gartner at 17
5 for 20 30 Goal seasons Milestone

1 40 Goal seasons T1 Wayne Gretzky at 12
3 for 15 40 Goal season Milestone

1 50 Goal Season T1 Mike Bossy & Wayne Gretzky at 9
2 for 10 50 Goal season Milestone

800 and 900

We already discussed how difficult it is to reach the 500, 600 and 700 milestones, here’s what the next two look like:

800 goals breaks down as
13.33 seasons of 60 goals
16 seasons of 50 goals
20 seasons of 40 goals
26.67 seasons of 30 goals

2 players in history, Gordie Howe who just barely made it with 801 and Wayne Gretzky

900 goals breaks down as
15 seasons of 60 goals
18 seasons of 50 goals
22.5 seasons of 40 goals
30 seasons of 30 goals

0 players in history but Wayne Gretzky came within only six reaching 894

Ovi would have 200 more goals to go to reach 900 and not only break Gretzky’s all time regular season goal scoring record but become the first player to reach the 900 milestone

200 goals breaks down as
4 seasons of 50 goals
5 seasons of 40 goals
6.67 seasons of 30 goals
10 seasons of 20 goals

It’s difficult to imagine Ovi has four more seasons of 50 goals in him (not including hitting it this season should he) and it seems equally as unlikely he would remain in the NHL if he was only scoring at a 20 goals per season pace at any point.

Here’s what the potential time line looks like and where the Capitals Core will be contract wise should Ovi return to the Caps when his current contract exprires:

2020-2021 final season of Ovi’s current contract, 16th of Ovi’s career, +1 to date, age 35 season
2021-2022 1st season post-contract, 17th career, +2, age 36
2022-2023 2nd post, 18th career, +3, age 37. Lars Eller and Dmitry Orlov final season under current contract.
2023-2024 3rd post, 19th career, +4, age 38. Tom Wilson final season under current contract.
2024-2025 4th post, 20th career, +5, age 39. Nicklas Bäckström, Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie final seasons under current contract.
2025-2026 5th post, 21st career, +6, age 40. John Carlson final season under current contract.
2026-2027 6th post, 22nd career, +7, age 41

So, realistically we’re probably looking at something between 2024 and 2027, between the 20th and 22nd career seasons, and aged 39 and 41 career seasons as you’ll see it broken down several different ways below.

For comparison, here’s Gretzky’s line on his attempt to reach 900:

894 Goals, average 45 Goals Per Season, 0.601 GPG average, 20 seasons, 1487 games, 74.35 Games per season average

Based on Goals Per Game

Here’s the Stats we’re working with in Ovi’s career:

0.6124 All Situations Regular Season Goals Per Game Average
46.667 Goals Per Season Average
0.3823 Even Strength GPG
29.134 Even Strength GPS
0.2266 Power Play GPG
17.267 Power Play GPS
0.0962 Game Winning GPG
7.334 Game Winning GPS

.600 pace, or Ovi’s career average rounded out, and what Gretzky finished his career with
334 games remaining
4.07 seasons at 82 games
4.28 more seasons at 78 games, close to Ovi’s career average and a number that keeps coming up in other tabulations
4.77 more season at 70 games average, just for a bottom number comparison, it’s roughly 85% of an 82 game season

.550 as Matthwes career GPG average to date rounded out, and similar to what Phil Esposito finished with for 717 goals over 1282 games
364 games remaining
4.44 more seasons at 82 games
4.67 more at 78
5.2 more at 70

.525 as Stamkos career GPG average as the highest career average over 200 goals/500 games by a player who’s career is entirely in the post-lockout era
381 games remaining

.500 pace, or a goal every other game, or similar to Mike Gartner’s 708 over 1432 games, Dino Ciccarelli’s 608 over 1232, and Guy Lafleur’s 560 over 1126
400 games remaining
4.88 more seasons at 82 games
5.13 more at 78
5.71 more at 70

.450 pace, similar to Steve Yzerman’s 692 over 1514 games, Joe Sakic’s 625 over 1378, Gordie Howe’s 801 in 1767, and is in line with Malkin’s current career pace
445 games remaining
5.43 more seasons at 82 games
5.71 more at 78
6.36 more at 70

.425 pace, similar to the current careers of John Tavares, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladimir Tarasenko
471 games remaining

.400 pace, similar to Jarome Iginla’s 625 over 1554 games, Marian Hossa’s 525 over 1309, Pierre Turgeon’s 515 over 1294, Mark Messier’s 694 over 1756 games, and the current career pace of Patrick Kane
500 games remaining
6.1 more seasons at 82 games
6.41 more at 78
7.14 more at 70

0.380 pace, equal to Ovi’s ESG career average
527 games remaining

Based on Shots on Goal and Shooting Pct

Here’s the Stats we’re working with in Ovi career:

380.28 shots per season average / 4.911 shots per game average over 5324 shots going into this season over a 14 season/1084 Games career
335.33 shots per season average over previous 3 seasons
303 shots lowest shot total in a full season 2011-12

14.5% three-season to date (224 games, 979 shots 142 goals) shoot pct
12.6% all-situations regular season career shooting percentage
10.65% as the mid-point between career and lowest shooting
8.7% lowest shooting pct in a single season 2010-11

To reach 200 goals

14.5% shooting
1380 shots needed
3.64 seasons at 380 shots average
4.13 seasons at 335
4.56 seasons at 303

12.6% shooting
1588 shots needed
4.18 seasons at 380 shots
4.74 seasons at 335
5.24 seasons at 303

10.65% shooting
1878 shots needed
4.94 seasons at 380 shots
5.61 seasons at 335
6.2 seasons at 303

8.7% shooting
2299 shots needed
6.05 seasons at 380 shots
6.82 seasons at 335 shots
7.59 seasons at 303 shots

All stats care of NHL.com, Quanthockey and Hockey-Reference
Post publication can be found at https://www.japersrink.com/2020/2/24/21151270/ovi-and-the-700-goal-milestone

About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
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